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Portable universal inhaler system

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Portable universal inhaler system

A portable universal inhaler system formed from an outer part and an inner part slidably received in the outer part. The inner part defines a compartment for receiving a medication canister and includes a universal connector for making a fluid dispensing connection to a variety of commercially available canisters. The inner and outer parts, when assembled, together form a housing that defines a chamber of sufficient volume to house a metered dose of medication. A mouthpiece or mouthpiece attachment location is provided in fluid communication with the chamber for permitting inhalation of medication from the chamber. The structure of the device makes it compact and portable, in the closed position, allows for storage of a medication canister in operative engagement with the device, and provides a convenient way to dispense medication, using a medication canister and a chamber, for inhalation by a user.

Inventor: VEDAT OBUZ
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120272953 - Class: 12820023 (USPTO) - 11/01/12 - Class 128 
Surgery > Liquid Medicament Atomizer Or Sprayer >Pre-pressurized Container Holding Medicament

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120272953, Portable universal inhaler system.

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This application is a continuation U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/223,625, filed on Sep. 9, 2005, currently pending, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.


The present invention relates to a portable universal inhaler system for effectively delivering medications by inhalation through the mouth. More specifically, the present invention relates to a portable inhaler system that can be used with a variety of different medication canisters.


The delivery of a metered dose of medication via inhalation into the lungs is a common method used for administration of a variety of drugs, including, but not limited to, asthma medications, insulin, steroids and treatments for pulmonary diseases. Although the metered dose inhaler canister dispenses a fixed, metered dose of medication, only a portion of the metered dose actually reaches the lungs of a patient. Even if inhalation is properly timed with the dispensing of the medication from the inhaler, the amount of medication reaching the lungs is inconsistent, depending on various factors including the quantity of medication dissolved and/or entrained in the air entering the patient\'s lungs, and the quantity of medication that is deposited on one or more surfaces of the inhaler, the mouth and/or oropharyngeal area of the patient. Deposition of medication in the mouth or oropharyngeal area of the patient can cause complications, such as candidiasis, and may leave an unpleasant aftertaste.

Many patients also have practical problems with the use of inhalers, such as difficulty compressing the dose canister, difficulty in timing inhalation with the dispensing of medication, and an inability to inhale a full dose of medication in a single breath. In practice, patients frequently activate an inhaler multiple times in order to dispense a single dose, despite the fact that the desired metered dose should have been dispensed via a single activation of the inhaler. This is a documented response to the difficulty and inconsistency of medication delivery, which response undermines the effectiveness of metered dose inhalers, thereby leading to concerns such as over-medication, under-medication, and waste, as well as higher costs for treatment. The problem with improper storage and difficulty with sterilization techniques also poses risk for further unwanted fungal and bacterial infections.

One proposed solution to the problem of inconsistent dosing has been to provide a “spacer” or “chamber” within the inhalation device, typically in the form of a reservoir of air. The spacer or chamber provides a location for mixing the metered dose of medication with air before inhalation, thereby potentially reducing the inconsistency of dosing due to timing difficulties. U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,470,412; 4,790,305; 4,926,852; 5,012,803; 5,040,527; 5,042,467; 5,816,240; and 6,026,807 disclose various devices of this type.

Additionally, some devices with spacers have been provided with a valve mechanism to permit inhalation of a single dose of medication in more than one breath. For example, see U.S. Pat Nos. 4,470,412 and 5,385,140. The articles, Demirkan, et al., “Salmeterol Administration by Metered-Dose Inhaler Alone vs. Metered-Dose Inhaler Plus Valved Holding Chamber,” Chest, 117 (2000) pp. 1314-1318, Finlay and Zuberbuhler, “In vitro comparison of beclomethasone and salbutamol metered-dose inhaler aerosols inhaled during pediatric tidal breathing from four valved holding chambers,” Chest, 114 (1998) pp. 1676-1680, and Konig, “Spacer devices used with metered-dose inhalers. Breakthrough or gimmick?” Chest, 88 (1985) pp. 276-284; also provide information in relation to such devices.

For infants or other patients who have difficulty using a mouthpiece, a mask is commonly attached or incorporated onto the inhaler. See U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,809,692; 4,832,015; 5,012,804; 5,427,089; 5,645,049 and 5,988,160. Also, some devices include an audible signaling device to warn patients when inhalation exceeds a desirable rate, e.g. U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,809,692 and 5,042,467.

One method of attaching a spacer to a canister of a metered dose inhaler is to insert the inhaler into a universal adapter such as that shown in U.S. Pat. No. 5,848,588, but this is bulky and awkward to use. Other devices are designed to have a specific canister inserted into the device. It would be beneficial to be able to insert different canisters into a single inhaler.

Accordingly, in view of the foregoing, there remains a need for an easily portable, universal inhaler system that can be easily used and cleaned. There is also a need for a design that permits the use of attachments for infants, if desired. These and other objects of various embodiments of the invention are addressed by one or more of the embodiments of the invention described below. It should be understood, however, that specific embodiments of the invention need not address each and every object listed herein in order to be considered part of the inventive concept.



In one aspect, the present invention relates to an inhaler system that includes structure that permits insertion of different medication canisters.

In another aspect, the present invention relates to an inhaler system that is easily portable and includes structure that permits insertion of different medication canisters. In this aspect, the inhaler system includes at least two parts, one of which parts fits at least partially within another part to thereby enhance the portability of the device.

In another aspect, the present invention relates to an inhaler system that can be easily cleaned and/or sterilized. In this aspect, the inhaler system includes two or more parts that can be readily disassembled and reassembled to allow thorough cleaning or sterilization of the surfaces of the device.


For the purpose of illustrating the invention, representative embodiments are shown in the accompanying figures, it being understood that the invention is not intended to be limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.

FIG. 1 is a top view of one embodiment of an inhaler system of the present invention, in the closed position.

FIG. 2 is a side view of the inhaler system of FIG. 1 in the closed position.

FIG. 3 is an end view of the inhaler system of FIG. 1 in the closed position.

FIGS. 4-6 are top, side and end views, respectively, of the cover of the inhaler system of FIGS. 1-3.

FIG. 7 is a top view of the inner part of the inhaler system shown in FIGS. 1-3.

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