XVI Glossary

Dry powder inhaler (DPI): An inhaler with medication provided in a powder form that is inhaled from the mouth into the lungs using a quick breath to activate the medication and move it into the lungs. An example of a DPI is tiotropium (Spiriva).

Inunction: A medication that is massaged or rubbed into the skin.

Metered dose inhaler (MDI): An inhaler that provides a mist of medication that is inhaled through the mouth into the lungs. An example of an MDI is albuterol. Optimal administration is achieved with a spacer attached to the inhaler.

Small-volume nebulizers: Devices that provide a fine mist using oxygen or compressed air to transport the medication from a nebulizer cup into the mouth and into the lungs as the patient breathes normally through a mask or pipe device.

Topical medications: Medications administered via the skin or mucous membranes for direct local action, as well as for systemic effects.

Transdermal route: Patches or disks applied to the skin that deliver medication over an extended period of time.


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