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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

DTB on Teaching Inhaler Technique

The Drugs and Therapeutics Bulletin has published an article reviewing the teaching of good inhaler technique.

The article notes that over 45 million prescriptions for inhalers were dispensed in 2011 and account for four of the top ten drugs when assessed by cost.

It is also noted that even with good technique at best 20–35% of the drug reaches the lungs. Despite this is seems that little attention is paid to teaching, checking and re-checking inhaler technique.

Perhaps of greater concern, there is evidence that a high proportion of healthcare professionals cannot demonstrate inhaler technique and therefore are not in a position to teach the correct technique adequately.

Action: Clinicians who teach inhaler technique should regularly assess their own knowledge to ensure it remains accurate. A wide range of video clips and leaflets supporting correct usage are available from eMC Medicines Guides.

Thanks to Jane Dickson for spotting this article

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