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AAPS PharmSciTech. 2004 Mar 4;5(1):E13.

Pulmonary absorption of liposomal levonorgestrel.

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Pharmacy Department, Faculty of Technology & Engineering, Kalabhavan, M S University of Baroda, Vadodara-390 001, Gujarat, India.


The purpose of these studies was to achieve desired bioavailability after pulmonary administration of Levonorgestrel (LN) and to provide prolonged effective concentration of the drug in plasma and to reduce reported side effects of orally administered drug. The plain drug suspension, physical mixture (plain drug with liposomal constituents), and drug-encapsulated liposomes containing 10 micro g of drug were instilled intratracheally in rats. Similarly, 10- micro g drug suspension (LO) was administered orally. The blood samples were withdrawn at specific time intervals and were subjected to LN analysis by spectrofluorimetric technique. The plasma drug concentration data of both the treatments were plotted, and pharmacokinetics data were calculated and compared with that of oral administration. Percentage relative bioavailability (F*) of 97.6%, 98.6%, and 109.9% were observed after pulmonary administration of plain drug formulation (LP1), physical mixture (plain drug along with constituents of liposomes [LP2]), and liposomal (LP3) formulations of the drug, respectively. Following oral administration, Cmax of 14.4 +/- 0.6 ng/mL was observed at 2.1 +/- 0.2 hours followed by subtherapeutic concentration beyond 30 +/- 0.2 hours, while after pulmonary administration of LP1, LP2, and LP3 formulations, Cmax of 4.4 +/- 0.4 ng/mL, 4.2 +/- 0.5 ng/mL, and 4.4 +/- 0.6 ng/mL were observed at 6.0 +/- 0.2 hours, 7.0 +/- 0.2 hours, and 6.8 +/- 0.2 hours, respectively, followed by maintenance of effective plasma drug concentration up to 60 +/- 2 hours. These studies demonstrate superiority of pulmonary drug delivery with regards to maintenance of effective therapeutic concentration of the LN in the plasma over a period of 6 to 60 hours. Hence, the pulmonary delivery is expected to reduce frequency of dosing and systemic side effects associated with oral administration of LN.

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