New supplementary labels for inhalers

29 Feb 2024

The National Asthma Council Australia, in collaboration with the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, has developed supplementary labels to be affixed to inhalers in addition to the dispensing label.

Choosing the right device for the individual patient is crucial to ensuring correct technique and improving the likelihood of good adherence to therapy.(3) Inhaler devices vary widely with regard to technique, patient suitability and patient preference.(3) A common critical error with all inhalers is incorrect inspiratory flow rate.(7)

Inhaler device technique should be assessed and optimised at every opportunity. Optimal inhaler technique is critical to optimal disease outcomes. Up to 94% of patients do not use their inhaler device correctly, resulting in inadequate dosing, suboptimal disease control, worsening of quality of life, and increased hospital admissions and mortality.(4) Older age, cognitive impairment, multiple devices and lack of previous training are all risk factors for poor inhaler use and adherence.(5)

Pharmacists are encouraged to assess and correct inhaler technique at every opportunity. Using these stickers may enable a different starting conversation with the patient. APF26 has a new section on inhalers, detailing the steps for different types of inhalers. 

Asthma inhaler information cards are also available to help with appropriate selection of labels. A QR code on the cards links to the NAC videos on inhaler technique.

The information above is an excerpt from the full update for health professionals, by Debbie Rigby, Clinical Executive Lead, National Asthma Council Australia. View the full article

The stickers and cards are now available from Stirling Fildes:


(3) Dekhuijzen R, Lavorini F, Usmani OS, van Boven JFM. Addressing the impact and unmet needs of nonadherence in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: where do we go from here? J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract 2018;6:785-793.

(4) Lavorini F, Magnan A, Dubus JC, et al. Effect of incorrect use of dry powder inhalers on management of patients with asthma and COPD. Respir Med 2008;102:593-604.

(5) Usmani OS, Lavorini F, Marshall J, et al. Critical inhaler errors in asthma and COPD: a systematic review of impact on health outcomes. Respir Res 2018;19:10.

(7) Price DB, Román-Rodríguez M, McQueen RB, et al. Inhaler Errors in the CRITIKAL Study: Type, Frequency, and Association with Asthma Outcomes. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2017;5(4):1071-1081.

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