The dental considerations of outpatient inhalation therapy

Marcin Pasternak


Inhalation is one of the routes of drug administration used in therapy. Medicines are dispersed via an aerosol spray, mist, powder or vapour that patients breathe into their airways. Depending on the intrapulmonary behaviour of each molecule of the inhaled agent, the prevailing effect obtained may be local or general. Inhaled therapy, due to its local effect, is a cornerstone of obstructive pulmonary diseases like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), while the general effects of vaporised medical cannabis support its use in other indications (e.g. epilepsy, insomnia, spastic pain). Regardless of the purpose of use, an inhaled drug passes through the oropharynx and a major portion of its dose remains there. This paper focuses on the impact of inhaled therapy on the oral cavity, highlighting the issues important for dental practitioners. The most common indications for inhaled therapy are presented together with the devices used for this route of administration and the drugs employed in outpatient care. Particular attention is paid to oral side effects of inhaled medicines and their pathophysiology. The advisable measures for dental care of patients using inhaled therapy are presented.


inhaled therapy; asthma; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); medical cannabis; oral health

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