• Journal Article

Inhaled azithromycin therapy


Hickey, A., Lu, D. M., Ashley, E. D., & Stout, J. (2006). Inhaled azithromycin therapy. Journal of Aerosol Medicine-Deposition Clearance and Effects in the Lung, 19(1), 54-60. DOI: 10.1089/jam.2006.19.54


The treatment of pulmonary infectious diseases with pharmaceutical aerosols is an attractive option considering the accessibility of the lungs for topical drug delivery. Aerosols have been targeted to the lungs for the treatment of asthma with great success. Current therapies for other diseases, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pneumocystis jirovecii (formerly Pneumocystis carinii), and mycobacterial infections, remain suboptimal due to the efficacy/safety profile. This may be improved by aerosol targeted pulmonary drug delivery. Azithromycin is a broad spectrum antibiotic that acts by inhibiting protein synthesis. It is associated with side effects that might be avoided by aerosol delivery to the lungs. In the present study three concentrations of azithromycin (10, 50, and 100 mg/mL) were delivered from three nebulizers (Acorn II, Updraft, and LC Plus) operated at 8 L/min. Particles size analyses were conducted by inertial impaction and laser diffraction. In addition, emitted doses were determined. A linear proportionality existed across the concentration range between nominal dose and both fine particle dose/fraction and emitted dose, with R-2>0.999 in all cases. The mass median aerodynamic diameter increased from 1.4 to 1.9 mu m between 10 and 100 mg/mL of azithromycin solution concentration for the Acorn II. The particle size distributions were not all log-normally distributed. The median particle size delivered from the devices was largest for the Updraft (2.8 mu m) and smallest for the Acorn 11 (1.9 mu m) for 100 mg/mL azithromycin solution concentrations. The efficiencies of small particle delivery (%<4.7 mu m) were as follows, LC Plus=Acorn II (85%)>UpDraft (75%). However, the emitted dose from the LC Plus (55 mg/min) was higher than the Acorn II (31 mg/min) to maximize lung exposure to the aerosol, small median diameters and broad particle size distributions would be most effective. This study demonstrates that the dose delivered to the lungs will be maximized, under the current operating conditions by adopting the LC Plus, and high (100 mg/mL) azithromycin concentrations