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The process of breathing in.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a method of introducing medicinal substances into the body by means of inhaling. The medicinal substances are used in the form of vapor, gas, or aerosols (fumes and aqueous or oily mist). Special inhalers create the proper degree of disintegration of substances (the smaller the particles, the deeper they penetrate into the respiratory tract); the steam or compressed air draws the medicine into its stream and atomizes it. The medicinal substance enters the respiratory tract through a cone or mask that covers the nose and mouth. The temperature of the inhaled vapor is about 45°C. Inhalers may be stationary or portable.

Alkalis, dissolved sulfamide preparations, antibiotics, and other medications are introduced by the inhalation method. Inhalation is prescribed predominantly in inflammatory diseases of the respiratory organs. Oily inhalation (most often of vegetable oil with menthol) is used for therapeutic and prophylactic purposes; a thin, oily film is formed on the mucosa of the upper respiratory tract, which inhibits absorption of various toxic substances and promotes their expectoration. Inhalatoriums are created to provide inhalation procedures for large groups (for example, workers in chemical and cement plants, miners). Inhalation of medicinal substances is called artificial inhalation, and breathing healthful sea, forest, or mountain air is called natural inhalation.


Eidel’shtein, S. I. Osnovy aerozol’terapii. Moscow, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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