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Allergy. 1999;54 Suppl 49:97-103.

Future options for aerosol delivery to children.

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  • Department of Paediatrics, National University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark. Bisgaard@RH.DK

Abstract

There is an increasing awareness of the importance of reliable aerosol delivery, with emphasis on the dose delivered to the lungs, optimal clinical control, cost-effectiveness, and safety in children. Dose prescription should relate to the expected lung dose rather than the factory-dispensed dose, as at present. The device determines the lung dose. Clearly, therefore, the device should be considered an integral part of the prescription. Drug approval processes should clearly specify the device, and discourage the use of other devices. This would rationalize the choice of devices. Important new insights into factors essential for drug delivery to the airways have been acquired in recent years. Nasal inhalation increases systemic bioavailability, reduces lung dose, and adds to its variability; hence, face masks to prevent nasal breathing have been developed. Similarly, dead space in the inspiratory line causes a proportional reduction in lung dose; hence, attention should be paid to reducing such dead space. Plastics in spacers cause a rapid loss of drug due to electrostatic attraction of the aerosol. The residence time of the aerosol, i.e., the time available for inhalation, is increased in nonelectrostatic spacers, allowing less compliant children enough time to obtain a full dose. Eliminating the electrostatic charge can change the lung dose by several times; hence, nonelectrostatic materials should be used in future spacer devices. Compliance is the biggest problem in drug delivery to children. The inhaler design process should be reversed, adapting technology to the child. Interactive microchip technology should provide intelligent devices that react to correct handling and breathing maneuvers. An intelligent nebulizer has been developed that adapts nebulization to the child's breathing pattern, nebulizing only during inhalation and avoiding loss of aerosol during exhalation. An automatic device (AirPac) has been developed that transforms a dry-powder inhaler, Turbuhaler, into a spacer. In addition to the general advantages of spacer treatment, this device offers the advantage of a drug aerosol delivered without use of propellants or additives. The mechanical actuation ensures highly repeatable drug delivery. Finally, a nonelectrostatic, tower-shaped spacer provides a stable aerosol, which remains airborne for a prolonged period. The spacer is equipped with a face mask that prevents nasal breathing. Such features should improve our ability to treat young children with inhaled drug aerosols.

PMID:
10422756
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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