HOUSTON — ProAir Digihaler, a multidose dry powder inhaler with built-in sensors that record information about its use and measure inspiratory flow, could dramatically change the course of asthma treatment, according to a presenter at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting.
Each use of ProAir Digihaler (Teva Pharmaceuticals) provides a 90 g dose of albuterol, Roy Pleasants, PharmD, a clinical researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, told attendees.
Digihaler “provides clinicians a way to identify patients with poor asthma control and impending exacerbations, potentially in realtime if connected to a cloud service and health care provider via a clinical dashboard,” he said.
In a 12-week, open-label study of 64 patients aged 18 years and older, Pleasants and colleagues evaluated the patterns of albuterol use and inhalation parameters recorded on the ProAir Digihaler over a 14-day window around clinical asthma exacerbations (CAEs).
They found that during the 14-day window, patients had more daily albuterol inhalations than during exacerbation-free periods (mean, 2.43 vs. 1.87) and compared with patients without CAEs (mean, 1.14).
Patients with CAEs also had lower peak inspiratory flow (mean, 71.36 L/min vs. 74.71 L/min), similar inhalation volume (mean, 1.44 L vs. 1.44 L) and similar inhalation duration (mean, 1.61 seconds vs. 1.59 seconds) during the 14-day window compared with exacerbation-free periods, according to Pleasants.
“These data paint a novel picture of patients’ patterns of inhaled rescue medication use and inhalation parameters ... which is a great step forward with inhalers,” Pleasants said. “We’ve been pounding our heads on the walls for years, trying to get patients to use their inhalers. Now we have a tool that will be able to tell us if they’re using their inhaler or not and if they’re using it properly.”
ProAir is approved for patients aged 4 years and older and will be available by prescription in 2020, according to Teva Pharmaceutical.
Reference: Pleasants R, et al. Rescue medication use and inhalation patterns during asthma exacerbations recorded by ProAir Digihaler. Presented at: American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting; Nov. 7-11, 2019; Houston.
Disclosures: Pleasants reports receiving grants from Boehringer Ingelheim and receiving personal fees from Grifols, Sunovion and Teva Pharmaceuticals. Please see the presentation for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.