Spacers in combination with metered-dose inhalers for delivery of bronchodilator drugs have proved to be effective. However, in some low income areas ( mainly in developing countries) it may not be something affordable or accesible to patients. As a response to this issue, home-made spacers (tipically with plastic bottles) have been widely used.
In this Cochane audio review, Dr. Carlos Rodríguez from Colombia compares the response of beta 2 agonists delivered through metered-dose inhalers attached to comercially available spacers versus home made spacers.
Plain language summary
Commercial versus home-made spacers in delivering bronchodilator therapy for acute therapy in children
The aim of this review was to compare the response to inhaled beta-2 agonists delivered through a metered-dose inhaler (MDI) attached to home-made spacers, compared with beta-2 agonists delivered through a MDI attached to commercially produced spacers in children with acute exacerbations of wheezing or asthma. Six randomized clinical trials (RCTs) with 658 participants met the inclusion criteria of the review. Overall, this review fails to identify a difference between these two delivery methods for delivering bronchodilator therapy to children with acute asthma or lower airways obstruction attacks. However, given the small total sample and wide confidence intervals, equivalence between the treatments cannot be claimed.