Inhaled antibiotics: dry or wet?


Dry powder inhalers (DPIs) delivering antibiotics for the suppressive treatment of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in cystic fibrosis patients were developed recently and are now increasingly replacing time-consuming nebuliser therapy. Noninferiority studies have shown that the efficacy of inhaled tobramycin delivered by DPI was similar to that of wet nebulisation. However, there are many differences between inhaled antibiotic therapy delivered by DPI and by nebuliser. The question is whether and to what extent inhalation technique and other patient-related factors affect the efficacy of antibiotics delivered by DPI compared with nebulisers. Health professionals should be aware of the differences between dry and wet aerosols, and of patient-related factors that can influence efficacy, in order to personalise treatment, to give appropriate instructions to patients and to better understand the response to the treatment after switching. In this review, key issues of aerosol therapy are discussed in relation to inhaled antibiotic therapy with the aim of optimising the use of both nebulised and DPI antibiotics by patients. An example of these issues is the relationship between airway generation, structural lung changes and local concentrations of the inhaled antibiotics. The pros and cons of dry and wet modes of delivery for inhaled antibiotics are discussed.

DOI: 10.1183/09031936.00090314

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@article{Tiddens2014InhaledAD, title={Inhaled antibiotics: dry or wet?}, author={Harm A. W. M. Tiddens and Aukje C. Bos and Johan W Mouton and Sunalene G. Devadason and Hettie M. Janssens}, journal={The European respiratory journal}, year={2014}, volume={44 5}, pages={1308-18} }