|Since an inhalant is something inhaled, is an
inhaler considered a drug?|
|Question Date: 2012-04-10|
You're right that an inhalant is something
that is inhaled. An inhaler, itself, is a device
that delivers medication--medication that is
inhaled. The medication is actually the
inhalant, which is delivered through the
inhaler. So in a strict sense, the inhaler,
itself, is NOT a drug, but the inhalant that it
delivers it IS a drug. To be practical, though,
it wouldn't make much sense to carry around an
inhaler with no medication inside, so when most
people talk about inhalers, they're talking
about both the inhaler and the medication.
Confusing, isn't it?
Actually, the inhaler is a delivery tool.
What it delivers is a drug. It’s like a
hypodermic needle in that it is a way to get
drugs into the body, but it is not a drug
Some drugs have to be injected into the body
in order to get into the blood, then they travel
to the place they are needed. Inhalers deliver
drugs right to the air passages. If the drug is
for asthma, it can immediately work on the air
passages to make it easier to breathe. This
works because the tissues of the lungs are
already specialized to allow gases to pass
through them easily.
Why would it be better to have an inhalant
drug than an injectable drug or a pill for
Thanks for asking,
Definitely. For example, delivering short-
and long-acting drugs to the lungs for treatment
of asthma is done through the use of
Inhalants are usually drugs. It is possible
to inhale some very simple compounds that do
things to your physiology and are important
under odd situations, but I'm having a hard time
thinking of them.
All of this said, I'm not a doctor.
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