Nebulizer vs MDI Inhaler-difference between Nebulizer and MDI Inhaler

This page compares Nebulizer vs MDI Inhaler and mentions difference between Nebulizer and MDI Inhaler. It mentions advantages and disadvantages of both Nebulizer and MDI Inhaler.

Both of these medical devices are used to provide medication directly into lungs. They are very effective and provide quick relief to asthma patients or to patients having breathing problems.


Omron Nebulizer

The device Nebulizer converts liquid medicine into fine mist which can be inhaled directly into lungs. The mist form of medicine is breathed inside using facemask/mouthpiece by the patient. It is electric or battery operated. The figure-1 depicts Nebulizer from OMRON model NE-C25.

It takes more time (approx. 5-10 minutes) to provide medication using nebulizer. It is easy to provide medication to the child except in some cases when child cries.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Nebulizer

Following are the advantages of Nebulizer:
• Easier to use
• Easy to administer high doses
• No CFCs

Following are the disadvantages of Nebulizer:
• Machine cost is higher.
• It is not portable
• Before medication need to be prepared and hence slow in delivery.
• Less efficient as part of medication gets lost from expiratory port.
• It is easier to contaminate.
• With the use of facemask, aerosolized anticholinergics can cause visual changes as well as worsening of narrow angle glaucoma.

MDI Inhaler

MDI Inhaler

Inhalers are basically handheld and portable. They are of two types MDI Inhaler and Dry Powder Inhaler.

MDI stands Metered Dose Inhaler. The figure-2 depicts MDI Inhaler internals. These devices push out spray of medicine as per pre-measured quantity.

Once the user squeezes the device, medicine gets released. After few number of doses as prescribed, the MDI Inhaler should be replaced.

Dry Powder Inhaler do not spray out medicine. It just delivers powder form of the medicine.

Advantages and Disadvantages of MDI Inhaler

Following are the advantages of MDI Inhaler:
• It is portable.
• Cheaper
• No prior drug preparation needed before application.
• It is more efficient.

Following are the disadvantages of MDI Inhaler:
• It is difficult to use properly without experience.
• Oropharyngeal deposition
• CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons) have been used as propellants in MDI Inhaler. CFCs deplete stratospheric ozone and are banned internationally except for medical use in MDI inhalers. Use of CFC in MDI is being phased out.

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Nebulizer vs MDI Inhaler