Respimat® is an inhaler used in asthma treatment and other respiratory conditions. Unlike other drug delivery devices that use aerosol, Respimat® uses a spring and cartridge mechanism to administer medicine to the lungs. There are three types of inhalers on the market today: soft mist inhalers (SMIs), metered dose inhalers (MDIs), and dry powder inhalers (DPIs). Only Respimat® offers soft mist inhalers.
Prior to the manufacturing of Respimat® SMIs, patients had difficulties synchronizing the medicine’s release with their own inhalations. Consequently, the medical treatments did not always fulfill the goal of treating the lungs. One reason for such conflict is the fact that aerosol forces the medicine out of the canister in an uncontrolled cloud blast. Respimat® uses its simple spring mechanism to dissipate medicine to the lungs in a slow, controlled release. As a result, Respimat® inhalers provide more relief to the lungs and chest because patients are able to inhale more of the slow moving particles while MDI and DPI inhalers may allow higher portions of the medicine to settle in the respiratory tract.
Respimat® is also easy to carry and use. The device is not as cumbersome as traditional inhalers and fits neatly in a backpack, pocket, or purse. Before using a Respimat® SMI, the cap must be twisted until it clicks open. Once opened, a user should insert the mouthpiece under the cap into his or her mouth. Pressing the release button while holding his or her breath for 10 seconds will then allow the medicine to mitigate any discomfort caused by asthma attacks or respiratory infections.
Respimat® is also less taxing on the person taking it and has less of an environmental burden than other manners of respiratory relief. The slow effusion of the medicine places less of a toll on the sinuses and back of the throat than the aerosol-produced cloud released by MDI and DPI medications. Unlike MDI inhalers, Respimat® does not use chlorofluorcarbons (CFCs). CFCs are propellants used in aerosol sprays and, while they are innocuous to humans, evidence shows that CFCs have a detrimental effect on the Earth's ozone layer.
The Montreal Protocol, an international treaty implemented to reduce CFC use, caused many companies to consider other alternative for releasing pressurized sprays. Respimat® was the first medical company to consider a release mechanism contingent on tension released from a spring instead of a propellant fueled by CFCs. Consequently, some doctors and environmentalists view the apparatus as an alternative energy source for inhalers and respirators.