Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), used in metered dose inhalers (MDIs), have been identified as being deleterious to the environment leading to a ban on their production. Dry powder inhalers (DPIs) are a widely used alternative to MDIs. One disadvantage of DPIs is that in vivo lung deposition can be influenced by the patient's inspiratory flow rate. The ASTA Medica multi-dose dry powder inhaler (AM-MDPI) has been designed to offer low resistance on inhalation, so that asthmatic patients can achieve inhaled flow rates of approximately 90 L x min(-1). The aim of the study was to evaluate the in vivo deposition of budesonide from the AM-MDPI at different flow rates and to compare this with delivery from a Turbuhaler DPI at a high flow rate. The study was a scintigraphic, randomized, crossover study in which 13 healthy volunteers inhaled a single 200 microg dose of radiolabelled budesonide on four separate occasions with a minimum 44-h washout period between dosings. At the lowest flow rate of 54 L x min(-1), comparable to that for the Turbuhaler (58 L x min(-1)), a similar percentage of the metered dose was delivered to the lung (AM-MDPI median 19.9%; Turbuhaler median 21.4%). At high flow rate (peak inspiratory flow rate 99 L x min(-1)) the AM-MDPI delivered significantly more drug to the lung (median 32.1% of metered dose) than at 65 L x min(-1) or 54 L x min(-1) (median 25.0% and 19.9% of metered dose, respectively), thus demonstrating flow rate dependence. The pattern of regional lung deposition from the AM-MDPI was similar for all three inhalation manoeuvres. It was concluded that the ASTA Medica multi-dose dry powder inhaler achieves at least as much deposition of budesonide in the lungs as a Turbuhaler when used at similar inspiratory flow rates.
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