What is the history of the nebulizer?


Quick Answer

The history of nebulization goes back to the first century AD when the father of the science of pharmacy, Pedanius Dioscorides, prescribed inhaled fumigation. Hallucinogenic and therapeutic substances such as Datura ferox were later inhaled through pipes by the Red Indians and the Indians of Madras, and it was later exported to Great Britain, states PubMed in A History of Nebulization. Thermal sprays led to ultrasonic nebulizers in 1949, and therapeutic aerosols were soon produced.

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Full Answer

In 1858, Sales-Girons invented the first inhaler that atomized liquid medication using pressure. Closely following this invention was the steam-driven nebulizer in Germany in the early 1860s. The Pneumostat was invented in the 1930s and was the first electrical nebulizer, according to Inhalation Therapy: A Historical Review. It used a medical liquid to relax bronchial muscles by using an electrical compressor to convert the liquid into an aerosol. A hand-driven alternative known as the Parke-Davis Glaseptic was also in use at the same time.

Riker Laboratories launched a metered dose inhaler in 1956. This inhaler used metering valves to deliver exact doses of drugs as required. In 1987, a novel steroid, budesonide was launched by Astra Zeneca. Drugs were kept in a reservoir and individual doses were used in a Turbuhaler. The Turbuhaler is now used to administer inhaled steroids and bronchodilators. Following this, reservoir devices, capsule inhalers and multiple dose inhalers were used for dry powder inhalers, states Inhalation Therapy: A Historical Review.

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