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Tuesday 01 January 2002

Relative lung and total systemic bioavailability following inhalation from a metered dose inhaler compared with a metered dose inhaler attached to a large volume plastic spacer and a jet nebuliser.

By: Silkstone VL, Corlett SA, Chrystyn H.

Eur J Clin Pharmacol 2002 Jan;57(11):781-6

OBJECTIVE: To compare the lung and systemic delivery of salbutamol following inhalation from a metered dose inhaler (MDI), a MDI attached to a spacer (MDI+SP) and a nebuliser (NEB) using a urinary pharmacokinetic method. METHOD: Twelve healthy subjects each provided urine samples at 0, 30 min and pooled up to 24 h after the start of 5 x 100 microg salbutamol inhaled from MDI and MDI + SP and after 2.5 mg was delivered by NEB. Following nebulisation, the amount of salbutamol trapped on an exhalation filter together with that remaining in the apparatus was determined. The amount left in the spacer and that leaving the MDI mouthpiece was also determined. Thus, for all the methods, the amount available for inhalation from each study dose was determined. RESULTS: The mean (+/- SD) 30-min urinary excretion amounts of salbutamol for MDI, MDI+SP and NEB were 12.6+/-3.5, 27.1+/-6.0 and 16.1+/-4.6 microg, respectively. The mean ratios (90% confidence intervals) for MDI+SP compared with MDI and NEB were 230.2 (186.7, 273.8) and 183.0 (146.4, 219.7) (both P values<0.001), respectively, while that between MDI and NEB was 134 (110.4, 159.1) (P < 0.05). The mean (+/-SD) 24-h urinary excretion values for salbutamol and its metabolite were 287.0+/-46.5, 198.1+/-34.7 and 253.4+/-138.3 microg, respectively. Following inhalation a mean of 202.9+/-51.5 microg was left in the spacer. Similarly, after nebulisation 1387.7+/-88.9 microg was left in the nebuliser chamber, 26.3+/-8.0 microg in the mouthpiece and 553.8+/-68.5 microg exhaled. The mean emitted dose from the MDI was 88.4+/-6.1 microg per actuation. When normalised for the amounts available for inhalation, the mean amounts of salbutamol excreted in the urine during the first 30 min were 2.86+/-0.78, 9.15+/-1.69 and 3.06+/-0.70% following MDI, MDI + SP and NEB, respectively. CONCLUSION: Five 100-microg doses inhaled from a metered dose inhaler attached to a spacer delivered more to the lungs and less to the systemic circulation than either the same doses from a metered dose inhaler used alone or five times the dose given via a jet nebuliser. Spacers should be routinely used instead of nebulisers to manage patients unless they are short of breath.

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