I’ve been using an eFlow nebulizer since March 2006, and it has single-handedly changed my ability to do all of the nebulized treatments that are prescribed. Like everyone else, I was raised on a pneumatic nebulizer pump. They’re loud and take forever and a day to run through 3mL of dosage, usually 20-30 minutes each, right? You have to have an outlet nearby or have a DC/AC converter for your car.
What if I told you that you can do a dose in 90 seconds to 3 minutes running on rechargeable AA batteries? It pretty much eliminates every excuse in your book about not having enough time or an outlet available. You can see by my list of meds how long 30 minutes per dose would take me every day with old technology.
My first eFlow was a first generation machine and was eventually determined to be ruining the little aerosol head that microscopically disperses the medicine into a mist much finer than any air-driven neb can. My doses were taking longer and longer, until it was taking as long as a regular neb, and I pretty much gave up on my treatments because I really didn’t have that much time. I got a new machine, now the current Trio by switching to another specialty pharmacy.
The nittly gritty on getting your hands on an eFlow
I switched to Pharmaceutical Specialties in Georgia, who lease the device for free as long as you’re prescribed certain meds. I called them yesterday to confirm which meds get you a free device: mixed tobramyacin (not TOBI, as it’s too concentrated) and colistimethate. Something to keep in mind, they don’t mix the colistine, so they send sterile water vials, the colistine powder vials, and pre-needled syringes. There are other pharmacies that pre-mix a month of colistine, but they were unwilling to swap out my eFlow for one that worked, so it’s your guess how I feel about one in particular. /grin
Here is a full list of what they offer for CF patients with overnight, A.M. delivery if you schedule shipment a couple of days ahead:
- Preservative free unit dosed tobramycin for nebulization in eFlow ® nebulizer
- Pulmozyme ®
- TOBI ®
- SourceCF Softgel High Potency Adult Multivitamins softgels, chewables, and drops
- Hypertonic Saline 3%, 5%, 7% including Hyper Sal by PARI
- Xopenex ®
- Pancreatic enzymes
- Many more
I’ve been told by my coordinator that they also sell Cayston (AZLI) with its own version of the eFlow, called Altera. I have both devices since I’m still on the long-term trial of AZLI while it’s still free. Note: I also receive my ZenPep from PSI.
Caring for your eFlow
This section is easy because my coordinator sent us a PDF of tips and such regarding eFlows. The only thing they would like to amend from the document is that it refers to using tap water to rinse, but they would recommend using sterile water to avoid any bugs that might be present in tap water. Here is the PDF file.
Updated post – June 2010: My Nebulizer’s “Dirty Head”