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AAPS PharmSciTech. 2012 Sep;13(3):978-89. doi: 10.1208/s12249-012-9822-3. Epub 2012 Jul 14.

Challenges with developing in vitro dissolution tests for orally inhaled products (OIPs).

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Inhaled Product & Device Technology, GlaxoSmithKline, Hertfordshire, UK.


The purpose of this article is to review the suitability of the analytical and statistical techniques that have thus far been developed to assess the dissolution behavior of particles in the respirable aerodynamic size range, as generated by orally inhaled products (OIPs) such as metered-dose inhalers and dry powder inhalers. The review encompasses all analytical techniques publicized to date, namely, those using paddle-over-disk USP 2 dissolution apparatus, flow-through cell dissolution apparatus, and diffusion cell apparatus. The available techniques may have research value for both industry and academia, especially when developing modified-release formulations. The choice of a method should be guided by the question(s) that the research strives to answer, as well as by the strengths and weaknesses of the available techniques. There is still insufficient knowledge, however, for translating the dissolution data into statements about quality, performance, safety, or efficacy of OIPs in general. Any attempts to standardize a dissolution method for compendial inclusion or compendial use would therefore be premature. This review reinforces and expands on the 2008 stimulus article of the USP Inhalation Ad Hoc Advisory Panel, which "could not find compelling evidence suggesting that such dissolution testing is kinetically and/or clinically crucial for currently approved inhalation drug products."

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