Inhaled corticosteroid metered-dose inhalers: how do variations in technique for solutions versus suspensions affect drug distribution?

The Annals of pharmacotherapy

PubMedID: 23482731

Robinson CA, Tsourounis C. Inhaled corticosteroid metered-dose inhalers: how do variations in technique for solutions versus suspensions affect drug distribution?. Ann Pharmacother. 2013;47(3):416-20.
OBJECTIVE
To assess the literature that evaluates how variations in metered-dose inhaler (MDI) technique affect lung distribution for inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) formulated as MDI suspensions and solutions.

DATA SOURCES
PubMed (up to November 2012) and Cochrane Library (up to November 2012) were searched using the terms metered-dose inhalers, HFA 134a, Asthma/*drug therapy, and inhaled corticosteroids. In addition, reference citations from publications identified were reviewed.

STUDY SELECTION AND DATA EXTRACTION
All articles in English from the data sources that assessed MDI technique comparing total lung distribution (TLD) of MDI solutions or suspensions formulated with ICSs were included in the review. Five relevant studies were identified.

DATA SYNTHESIS
Five controlled studies compared how variations in MDI technique affect TLD for ICS MDI solutions with suspensions. MDI solutions resulted in greater TLD compared with larger particle MDI suspensions. Delayed or early inspiration upon device actuation of MDI solutions resulted in less TLD than coordinated actuation, but with a 3- to 4-times greater TLD than MDI suspensions inhaled using a standard technique. A sixth study evaluated inspiratory flow rates (IFR) for small, medium, and large particles. Rapid and slow IFRs resulted in similar TLD for small particles, while far fewer particles reached the airways with medium and large particles at rapid, rather than slow, IFRs.

CONCLUSIONS
Based on the literature evaluated, standard MDI technique should be used for ICS suspensions. ICS MDI solutions can provide a higher average TLD than larger-particle ICS suspensions using standard technique, discoordinated inspiration and medication actuation timing, or rapid and slow IFRs. ICS MDI solutions allow for a more forgiving technique, which makes them uniquely suitable options for patients with asthma who have difficultly with MDI technique.