Are children who use nebulizers getting enough medicine?

Children who rely on nebulizers might not be getting the full amount of medicine they need, according to a new study.

According to a study conducted by the pediatric unit at the Institute Hospital Bergamo in Ponte San Pietro, Italy, children using nebulizers to handle their asthma might not be getting the full amount of medicine they require. The small study, which recorded its findings using 10 children all around 9-years-old with well-controlled asthma, was recently published in the online journal Respirology.

Nebulizers, devices that take liquid asthma medications and turn them into mist that is easy to inhale, are not the most common form of asthma devices. They are generally given to smaller children who could have difficulty working the more frequently used metered dose inhaler. Nebulizers are also often relied on in emergency situations, making their deficiencies all the more glaring and potentially dangerous.

The study found, on average, less than 20 percent of the needed medication made it into the lungs of the children who were using nebulizers. One potential problem with this device, according to the doctor leading the study, is the formulations of the drugs. Because the metered dose inhaler is intended only for the use of one medication, it is easy to get the proper amount of medication in, while nebulizers use different combinations of drugs, and this can lead to the difference in medication that is actually delivered.

There are many factors that can affect how well the drugs perform in a nebulizer. Its water solubility and how much it resists flowing can all potentially impact how much medication a child actually receives from the device. Though, some question the legitimacy of the findings, due to the extremely small sample size, and believe that a more extensive study is required.

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