Breath of Fresh Air: Feature Articles

Chapter 24: Spacers: A Photo Essay

Spacers serve two major purposes: they help to improve coordination of inhaled medications delivered from pressurized canisters ("metered-dose inhalers"), and they reduce the amount of inhaled medication that is deposited onto the tongue and back of the throat

Spacers help with use of “metered-dose inhalers” in two ways:

In persons who have difficulty coordinating precisely the timing of actuating their inhaler and taking a deep breath in — or who dislike the sensation of a forceful spray directly striking the back of their throat — spacers offer better and more comfortable medication delivery.

More medication is inhaled because of better coordination and timing of delivery, and …

For all persons using corticosteroids from metered-dose inhalers (for example, Beclovent®, Vanceril®, Aerobid®, and Flovent®), use of large-volume spacers reduces the amount of medication left behind in the throat. As a result, there is less steroid medication available to cause localized reactions (for example, yeast infection of the mouth or "thrush"). Another advantage is that less medication is available to be swallowed and absorbed into the bloodstream. Consequently, the chance of developing any side effects outside of the lungs (such as in the eyes, skin, or bones) is reduced.

…less steroid medication is deposited in the mouth.