Kaung Myat HtutApril 22, 20122min1660

Asthma is a serious health disorder characterized by coughing and wheezing and a general difficulty in breathing. It is often caused by chronic allergies. One way asthmatics control the problem is by inhaling so-called bronchodilating drugs that help clear the bronchial tubes. Most mechanical inhalers contain propellants, like Freon, or additives, like lactose, that aid asthmatics in ingesting the drugs. But those substances can also create irritating side effects, including so-called bronchoconstrictive reactions (contractions or inflammation of the breathing passages.) Now a Swedish company says it has developed the first inhaler that contains no propellants or additives, and thereby eliminates the discomfort that occasionally accompanies the taking of asthma-fighting drugs.

The invention, called Turbuhaler, is small, disposable inhaling device developed by Dr. Kjell Wetterlin, Chief Researcher of AB Draco, of Lund, Sweden. (Draco which manufactures the product, is a subsidiary of Sweden’s AB Astra pharmaceutical company). According to Dr. Olof Selroos of Draco, the Turbuhaler contains only 200 doses (0.5 milligrams each) of anti-asthmatic drug Bricanyl. Selroos asserts the Turbuhaler will not cause side effects and, because it disnenses the drug automatically, is easy to use. “You simply turn a knob at the bottom of the inhaler to het a fresh dose, put the inhaler to the mouth and take a breath,” he says.

The Turbuhaler, which was tested for five years, sells for about $18. Assuming the patient needs six to 10 doses each day, the device should last about one month. The Turbuhaler is now sold in Sweden and will soon be available in Great Britain, Denmark, Switzerland and New Zealand. Selroons says the company eventually plans to market the product throughout the world.

18.1.1988 Newsweek.