Inhaled fixed-dose combinations (FDCs) of a long-acting β-agonist (LABA) and a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) have become the cornerstone for the maintenance treatment of symptomatic COPD patients. In this regard, global COPD treatment guidelines have recognized the importance of inhaler devices as integral contributors to the effectiveness of LABA/LAMA FDCs and recommend regular assessment of inhaler device use by the patients in order to improve long-term clinical outcomes. Optimal disease control is also highly dependent upon patient preferences and adherence to inhaler devices. This review objectively examines and compares the major inhaler devices used to deliver different LABA/LAMA FDCs, discusses the inhaler device characteristics that determine drug deposition in the airways, real-life preference for inhaler devices, and handling of inhaler devices that impact the results of the long-term management of COPD. The introduction of new LABA/LAMA FDCs, new inhaler devices, and more clinical studies have created confusion among physicians in choosing the optimal inhaled therapy for COPD patients; in this context, this review attempts to provide an evidence-based framework for informed decision-making with a particular focus on the inhaler devices.Funding. The preparation of this manuscript was funded by Novartis Pharma AG.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Combination bronchodilator agents