Combivent MDI vs Combivent Respimat: Can You Tell the Difference?

Woman using inhaler
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Many people with COPD use inhalers to help them with their COPD symptoms. Back in 2008, I blogged about the FDA's plight to replace inhalers containing chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) with inhalers containing hydrofluoroalkane (HFA) in an effort to support the Clean Air Act. The phase-out upset a lot of people (myself included) because they felt that CFC inhalers were inferior to HFA inhalers in terms of medication delivery and symptom relief.

Earlier this year, Boehringer Ingelheim jumped on the "clean air" bandwagon by phasing out the Combivent metered dose inhaler (MDI) and replacing it with Combivent Respimat, a propellant-free inhaler that uses a slow-moving mist to deliver the same active ingredients as found in the Combivent MDI. Distribution of the Combivent MDI ceased in May, but supplies of the product may still be available. Once those supplies run out, the Combivent Respimat will be the only Combivent product available.

Although I've never used Combivent, I do use an albuterol rescue inhaler and Advair for my asthma. When they changed over to the HFA inhalers, I felt a huge difference. My question is this: For those of you who were forced to make the switch between Combivent MDI and Combivent Respimat, can you tell the difference? What do you like about the new form of Combivent? What do you dislike? What about cost?

Is one more expensive than the other? 

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