Pressurised metered dose inhalers (pMDI) are still the most heavily prescribed
medicines for the treatment of asthma. Various add-on devices are made
available through pharmacies either on prescription, over-the-counter or off-theshelf.
These include actuation aids, spacers and alternative actuators. The Sports-
Haler™ is a replacement actuator for the conventional Ventolin™ actuator and offers
a compact and colourful alternative to the conventional design. This article evaluates
the performance of this replacement device and compares it to the standard
product using Pharmacopeia methodology. In general, there were no differences in
the aerosol performance and thus projected lung deposition of salbutamol sulphate.
We discuss the pros and cons of such add-on devices from a pharmacy perspective
and highlight potential issues that may be encountered when patients choose to modify the standard
regulated pharmaceutical product. There are several considerations, which need to be reviewed when
making decisions about the use of substitute and/or add-on devices.
Keywords: Equivalence, device education, inhalation add-on devices, inhaler use.
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