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Device mechanics and evaluation of inspiratory flow rate required of the beclomethasone dipropionate breath-actuated inhaler

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Approximately 80% of patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease incorrectly use a metered-dose inhaler and, therefore, fail to obtain full benefit from their inhaler medication. Beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP) hydrofluoroalkane, an inhalation aerosol administered via a breath-actuated inhaler (BAI) has been designed to improve ease of use over press-and-breathe metered-dose inhalers by eliminating the need for hand-breath coordination.


To present the mechanics of the BAI device, assess the minimum reliable inspiratory flow rate required to trigger an actuation, and evaluate if intended users can safely and effectively use the BDP BAI according to the instructions for use (IFU).


Six random batches (three batches each of 40 μg and 80 μg) of 10 inhalers were evaluated for the minimum inspiratory flow rate required for actuation trigger. Each inhaler was tested for actuation at five flow rates: 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20 L/min. Simulated-use testing was conducted with 91 participants from six representative user groups in the United States to assess the use of a placebo-filled production-equivalent BDP BAI according to the IFU.


Across the 40-μg batches, 83% of the devices actuated at 16 L/min and 100% actuated at 18 and 20 L/min. For the 80-μg batches, 67% and 100% actuated at 18 L/min and 20 L/min, respectively. All the participants demonstrated successful use of the BDP BAI during the study session. Isolated safety-critical errors with the potential for no-dose delivery were recorded for 15 participants but were considered unrelated to the design of the IFU.


The BDP BAI consistently triggered actuation at an airflow rate of 20 L/min and was successfully used based on guidance from the IFU only. This device provides an alternative for patients who find it difficult to use metered-dose inhaler devices correctly.
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Keywords: Airflow rate; asthma; beclomethasone dipropionate; breath-actuated inhaler; device; hand-breath coordination; inhaled corticosteroid; inspiratory flow rate; maintenance therapy; metered-dose inhaler

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: From Western Sky Medical Research, El Paso, Texas 2: Clinical Research, Central Texas Health Research, New Braunfels, Texas 3: Global Respiratory R&D, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Malvern, Pennsylvania 4: R&D Combination Product Development, Teva Pharmaceuticals Ireland, Waterford, Irel

Publication date: May 1, 2019

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  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

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    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

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    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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