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J Aerosol Med. 2002 Spring;15(1):65-73.

Mass output and particle size distribution of glucocorticosteroids emitted from different inhalation devices depending on various inspiratory parameters.

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Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany.


Efficient inhalation therapy depends on successful delivery of the drug to the lung. The efficacy of drug delivery is not only influenced by the characteristics of the inhalation device, but also by the patient's handling of the device and by the inspiratory maneuver achieved through the device. We analyzed the output characteristics of three different chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)-free breath-actuated inhalers for inhaled glucocorticosteroids (BUD Turbohaler, FP Diskus/Accuhaler and HFA-BDP Autohaler, respectively). Mass output and particle size distribution of drug aerosol delivered by the inhalers were determined depending on different inhalation parameters in vitro using an Andersen cascade impactor. We found that, beside the peak inspiratory flow (PIF), other factors such as flow acceleration and inhalation volume also have significant effects on aerosol generation with respect to mass output and particle size distribution. Thus, these parameters should be taken into account when a suitable device for an individual patient is to be selected. The dependency on inspiratory parameters was most pronounced for the dry powder inhalers. The Turbohaler showed by far the highest variance in particle output (fine particle fraction ranging from 3.4% to 22.1% of label claim), whereas the Diskus was less dependent on variations in inhalation (10.6% to 18.5% of label claim). The most constant aerosol output was found for the Autohaler, which also released the highest fine particle fraction (43.1% to 56.6% of label claim).

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