The deposition of particulate suspensions delivered from a metered dose inhaler has been investigated extensively. The distribution of propellant, delivered from a metered dose inhaler, was studied by radiolabelling it with technetium-99m hexamethylpropyleneamine oxime. Andersen sampler measurements indicated that half of the dose was associated with particles in the size range 0.5-5 microns diameter. The preparation was administered to healthy subjects by inhalation and deposition was monitored with a gamma camera. Each lung image was divided into an inner, mid, and peripheral zone. The effects on deposition of varying the size of the delivery orifice (0.46, 0.61, and 0.76 mm internal diameters) and the effect of attaching a spacer were assessed. Lung deposition was independent of the orifice size within the actuator. Without the spacer the average dose deposited in the lungs was 39%, with 15% penetrating into the peripheral part of the lungs. Attachment of the spacer to the mouth-piece increased the mean lung deposition to 57% and reduced oropharyngeal deposition. The study has shown that propellant soluble drugs can be delivered efficiently to the lungs from a metered dose inhaler.
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