A digital dose inhaler, also termed as metered dose inhaler is a user-friendly hand held medical device which renders a set specified amount of medication to the lungs in short burst of aerosol form, instead of a capsule or a pill. It is generally self-administered by the patient through inhalation. This inhaler is the most widely used delivery system for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and many other respiratory diseases. The digital dose inhaler comprises of a pressurized canister within a plastic case, along with a mouthpiece attached. A patient presses the device while inhaling the medication directly into the lungs. A digital dose inhaler usually carries a corticosteroid, bronchodilator, or a mix of both depending upon the treatment requirement prescribed by the medical practitioner. A few of the other said medications which are least common but yet used and are administered with the help of a digital dose inhalers are mast cell stabilizers such as nedocromil or cromoglicate. A study based on digital dose inhalers market states that these inhalers are widely preferred owing to their portable size which can easily be carried anytime, anywhere. Also, these types of inhalers use a chemical propellant in order to push the medication out of the inhaler.
One of the most significant parts of the digital dose inhaler is a ‘spacer’ which is a tube that is attached to the inhaler. It helps in holding the medication till the time the patient is able to breathe it in. the spacer ascertains that any patient who is not using the device in an appropriate manner gets the medication from the digital dose inhaler to their lungs correctly. Also, it helps in reducing the possible side effects. Spacers are quite essential due to the fact that few people find it difficult to use the inhaler in the right way. Apart of this, an inhaler comprises of three key components – the metering valve (enables a metered quantity of the medication to be dispensed), the canister (that is produced in stainless steel or aluminum through deep drawing), an actuator, a.k.a. mouthpiece (lets the patient to function the device and focus the aerosol into the patient’s lungs.