AAPS PharmSciTech

, Volume 19, Issue 5, pp 2335–2345 | Cite as

Effects of Formulation Variables on Lung Dosimetry of Albuterol Sulfate Suspension and Beclomethasone Dipropionate Solution Metered Dose Inhalers

  • Jeffry D. SchroeterEmail author
  • Poonam Sheth
  • Anthony J. Hickey
  • Bahman Asgharian
  • Owen T. Price
  • Jay T. Holt
  • Denise S. Conti
  • Bhawana Saluja
Research Article


The performance of pressurized metered dose inhalers (MDIs) is affected by formulation and device variables that impact delivered dose, aerodynamic particle size distribution, and consequently lung deposition and therapeutic effect. Specific formulation variables of relevance to two commercially available products—Proventil® HFA [albuterol sulfate (AS) suspension] and Qvar® [beclomethasone dipropionate (BDP) solution]—were evaluated to determine their influence on key performance attributes measured experimentally with in vitro cascade impaction studies. These commercial MDIs, utilized as model systems, provided mid-points for a design of experiments (DoE) plan to manufacture multiple suspension and solution MDI formulations. The experimental results were utilized as input variables in a computational dosimetry model to predict the effects of MDI formulation variables on lung deposition. For the BDP solution DoE MDIs, increased concentrations of surfactant oleic acid (0–2% w/w) increased lung deposition from 24 to 46%, whereas changes in concentration of the cosolvent ethanol (7–9% w/w) had no effect on lung deposition. For the AS suspension DoE MDIs, changes in oleic acid concentration (0.005–0.25% w/w) did not have significant effects on lung deposition, whereas lung deposition decreased from 48 to 26% as ethanol concentration increased from 2 to 20% w/w, and changes in micronized drug volumetric median particle size distribution (X50, 1.4–2.5 μm) increased deposition in the tracheobronchial airways from 5 to 11%. A direct correlation was observed between fine particle fraction and predicted lung deposition. These results demonstrate the value of using dosimetry models to further explore relationships between performance variables and lung deposition.


metered dose inhaler (MDI) design of experiments (DoE) lung deposition modeling multiple-path particle dosimetry model (MPPD) fine particle fraction (FPF) coarse particle fraction (CPF) 



Funding for this work was made possible, in part, by the Food and Drug Administration through grant 1U01FD004943-01. Views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does any mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organization imply endorsement by the US Government.

Compliance with Ethical Standards


The opinions expressed in this paper by the authors do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Supplementary material

12249_2018_1071_MOESM1_ESM.docx (612 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 612 kb)


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Copyright information

© American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffry D. Schroeter
    • 1
    Email author
  • Poonam Sheth
    • 2
    • 3
  • Anthony J. Hickey
    • 2
    • 4
  • Bahman Asgharian
    • 1
  • Owen T. Price
    • 1
  • Jay T. Holt
    • 2
    • 5
  • Denise S. Conti
    • 6
  • Bhawana Saluja
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.Applied Research AssociatesRaleighUSA
  2. 2.Cirrus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (presently, Recipharm)MorrisvilleUSA
  3. 3.Pearl TherapeuticsDurhamUSA
  4. 4.RTI InternationalResearch Triangle ParkUSA
  5. 5.Aurobindo Pharma USA, Inc.RaleighUSA
  6. 6.Office of Research and Standards, Office of Generic Drugs, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug AdministrationSilver SpringUSA
  7. 7.Office of Clinical Pharmacology, Office of Translational Sciences, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug AdministrationSilver SpringUSA

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