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Int J Pharm. 1999 Sep 10;186(1):3-12.

A new method to evaluate plume characteristics of hydrofluoroalkane and chlorofluorocarbon metered dose inhalers.

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3M Pharmaceuticals, St. Paul, MN 55144-1000, USA.


Two concerns raised when comparing metered dose inhalers (MDIs) to other inhalation devices are their relatively high throat deposition and the 'cold-Freon' effect seen in a small number of patients. The cold-Freon effect is presumed to be a result of the cold, forceful MDI plume impacting on the back of a patient's throat. This in vitro study uses a new plume characterization method to determine the spray force and plume temperature of various MDIs. Spray force measurements were made for 28 marketed products consisting of bronchodilators, steroids, press-and-breathe, breath-actuated and nasal inhalers. Results show that chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)-containing MDIs produce extremely forceful and cold plumes. Several hydrofluoralkane (HFA)-containing MDIs produced much softer and warmer plumes, but two HFA products had spray forces similar to the CFC products. Although the type of propellant used can affect spray force, actuator orifice diameter is the most important factor. Data obtained from marketed products and experimental inhalers show that MDIs that have a low spray force also have low throat deposition.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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