Inhalation therapy is the method of converting a liquid or dry powder medication into an aerosol, or mist, so it can be delivered directly into the airways.
Inhaled medications go straight into the lungs rather than travelling around the body, which can reduce side effects.
Antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, bronchodilators and mucus thinners can all be inhaled.
Inhalation therapy can be done with a nebuliser or other inhaler device.
The main inhaler devices used in cystic fibrosis are metered dose inhalers (bronchodilators, such as Ventolin), dry powder inhalers (TOBI podhaler and bronchitol inhaler), and nebulisers (jet compressor or mesh technology).
Inhalation therapy can enhance or assist airway clearance, and airway clearance can help the inhaled medication be more effective, so they are often completed together or following one another.