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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Volumatic to be Discontinued

The Volumatic spacer device, which is intend for use with metered dose inhalers such as Ventolin and Becotide, is being discontinued and is unlikely to be available from the end of August 2005.

The Aerochamber Plus is going to be marketed in place of the Volumatic, however there are only limited data available to support the use of this spacer, with studies on-going to increase understanding of how this spacer affects drug deposition in the lungs.

Caution should therefore be used in changing the spacer device as changes in lung deposition could affect the side effect profile and efficacy of treatment. This may impact upon patient compliance with treatment and control of the underlying disease. Patients who are prescribed the replacement spacer device should be monitored carefully for side effects from treatment or for poor control of symptoms. Where loss of control of side effects occur, steps should be taken to alter the drug therapy to regain control of the disease without causing unnecessary harms.

Action: Prescribers should encourage patients to continue using their Volumatic spacers where possible until more data are available to support the Aerochamber Plus. When prescriptions are changed through necessity, the patients' condition should be monitored for loss of control or side effects.

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