Zydus Hospital Cancer Centre Zydus Hospital Anand Unit

Finding 'Sanjivani', Daily! (Part-7)

No. This blog is not about any miracle drug or vaccine against SARS Co-V2 virus responsible for the current deadly pandemic of COVID19. This is regarding the class of medications already invented & used by millions of people across the globe daily - by force or by choice. They are inhaler medications or as commonly called "Pump".

Summarizing the blog series on ‘inhaler education initiative', a Pulmonologist weighs the advantages over drawbacks of different inhaler devices available and emerging, to suit the patient’s condition which results in symptom control as well as reducing the risk of flare ups to preserve and maintain the lung health often many times in a single day.

On the other side of table, a patient receiving inhaler treatment should raise some important questions which requires detailed explanations. Few important ones are listed below:

  • On what basis the inhaler treatment is being initiated? For example, one would take medications for diabetes if the blood sugar levels are high.
  • What are the key endpoints to be looked before stopping inhaler medications?
  • In case if you are using the inhaler device for the first time, make sure the prescribing doctor or trained paramedic demonstrates the ‘technique' to you.
  • Always ask for cleaning, disinfection & maintenance tips of the devise.
  • In case of multiple inhalers prescribed, make sure which can be used for ‘rescue' to relive sudden attack
  • Bring inhaler device on regular follow ups, so that the inhaler technique can be assessed & corrected in case of suboptimal treatment response.

Never hesitate to communicate about difficulties encountered, as there is never ‘one size fits all' when it comes to inhaler device selection.

A right molecule to the right patient with the right device in the right dosage always bring out wonderful outcomes which usually is associated with optimum disease control with less frequent use of inhaler medications.

One important scientific fact is, at present, almost all the molecules available for long term inhalation are not considered ‘habit forming' and hence one cannot become addicted to same. Most often, it is the disease which mandates long term inhaler medication.

In the end, the choice of inhaler depends on agreement between patient & caregiver after thorough considerations of underlying disease status, inhalation effort as well as cost in long run.

The End.

Symbolism : A Pulmonologist passes through lot of thought processes to choose an inhaler just like Hanumanji's struggle to fetch the herb. An optimized inhaler therapy reduces the symptom (particularly of breathlessness) & risk of the disease - just as sanjivani cured army to conquer the evil.

Sanjivani : a miracle herb described in the ancient scripture of "Ramayana", was obtained by Hanumanji after unprecedented struggle. Very few people know that the herb was actually "inhaled" leading to restoration of the army lead by Lord Shri Ram to conquer the evil.

- Dr. Jaykumar Mehta

MBBS (Gold Medalist)

MD, DNB, MNAMS, PD Fellow (Pulmonology)

Consultant Interventional Pulmonologist (Zydus Hospital, Ahmedabad)