J Korean Med Assoc.  2013 Jul;56(7):625-631. 10.5124/jkma.2013.56.7.625.

Inhalation medications in chronic airway disease

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Konkuk University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. Khyou@kuh.ac.kr


Chronic airway diseases (asthma and chronic obstructive lung disease) are common and their prevalence is increasing worldwide. The most effective method for drug delivery for the treatment of patients with chronic airway diseases is via an inhaler device. The guidelines on asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) recommend inhaler medication for the treatment of these patients. Inhaled medications have several advantages, including faster onset of action, a lower dose of medicine, and reduced adverse effects. To maximize the effect of inhaled medication, patients must use the inhaler device correctly; thus patients should receive training and education in the use of the device. There are now many kinds of inhaler devices on the market, such that the appropriate choice of inhaler device for each patient plays a crucial role in achieving a good outcomes from treatment. Correct use of inhalation devices will maximize the beneficial effects of therapy. A detailed assessment of the patient's coordination and inspiratory flow patterns could allow for the correct use of the most suitable inhaler medication for each patient. Successful inhalation therapy can increase the possibility of controlling airway diseases.


Inhaler medication; Asthma; Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Equipment and supplies

MeSH Terms

Equipment and Supplies
Nebulizers and Vaporizers
Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive
Respiratory Therapy


  • Figure 1 Treatment options for stable chronic obstructive lung disease patients. FEV1, forced expiratory volume at 1 second; pred, predicted; mMRC, modified medical research council; CAT, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease assessment test; LABA, long acting beta-2 agonist; LAMA, long acting muscarinic antagonist; ICS, inhaled corticosteroid; PDE4, phosphodieserase4. a)Including 24 hours LABA. b)FEV1<50% pred., chronic cough, History of acute exacerbation. From Korean Academy of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease. COPD: the guideline for treatment. 2nd ed. Seoul: Korean Academy of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease; 2012, with permission from Korean Academy of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease [6].


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