Mint Mask

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Categories: “Medical & Research Devices

Reference: #2014-024

OTC Contact: Zeinab Abouissa M.S.
Phone: 202-687-2702


People who are asthmatic often breathe faster as a way of compensating for airway constriction. However, hyperventilation decreases carbon dioxide and can worsen the condition by causing lightheadedness, anxiety, and bronchoconstriction. Peppermint, one of the most common flavorings in the world, is a potent antispasmodic phytomedicine that relaxes smooth muscle in the respiratory and gastrointestinal and tract.

Researchers at Georgetown University’s Department of Pharmacology & Physiology developed a breath-activated, mechanical phytomedicine delivery mask useful for treating cough, and wheezing associated with asthma, bronchitis, or respiratory infections. The delivery device/mask, which can be made of simple, easily obtainable, inexpensive materials, is designed to be portable, disposable, inexpensive, biodegradable, and suitable to be sold

On its own, the mask functions as a simple rebreathing device, trapping exhaled breaths and thus increasing carbon dioxide. By adding menthol and related pharmacologically active compounds, all of which are potent bronchodilating agents, the mask becomes a novel drug delivery system that maximizes cough suppressant effects. Breathing into a semi-porous enclosed mask, reproduces the beneficial effect of controlled breathing techniques without requiring any effort or training on the part of the patient. A semi-porous enclosed space provides plenty of oxygen and will not make a person feel air hunger; the effect is similar to breathing into a paper bag. Furthermore, the partial rebreathing effect also warms and humidifies air, which is helpful in preventing cold-induced asthma.

There is only one over-the-counter asthma medication available which uses epinephrine as the active ingredient. Prolonged use of epinephrine can cause increased blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias, and stroke. This device specifically addresses an unmet need and it is applicable to underserved urban populations where asthma is highly prevalent.


Adriane Fugh-Berman, M.D.
Professor of Pharmacology and Physiology


U.S. Patent No. 10,610,494
U.S. Patent Application No. 16/824,177