What makes flunisolide different among inhaled corticosteroids used for nebulization: a close look at the role of aqueous solubility

  • Ahmad Kantar | kantar@centropediatricotosse.com Pediatric Cough and Asthma Center, Istituti Ospedalieri Bergamaschi, University and Research Hospitals, Bergamo, Italy.


Evidence-based management of bronchial asthma and wheezing in children and adults recommends the employment of inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs). Difficulty in using some inhalation devices for ICS delivery, such as pressurized metered-dose and dry-powder inhalers, is common among young children and in the elderly, and for that reason, they are replaced with nebulizers. We reviewed comparative studies that evaluated funisolide with other ICSs currently available on the market, including beclomethasone dipropionate, fluticasone propionate, and budesonide. Moreover, we assessed the physicochemical properties of these ICSs in determining drug fate in the lung. Data indicate that the flunisolide output in respirable particles by any type of pneumatic nebulizer (traditional, open breath or breath-enhanced) is superior to the output of other ICSs. This is principally attributed to the higher water solubility of flunisolide. Furthermore, in vivo simulation studies demonstrate that the intersubject variability of the inhaled dose among asthmatic children was much greater for suspensions of fluticasone propionate and beclomethasone dipropionate than for those of flunisolide. The physicochemical properties and pharmacokinetic profile of flunisolide favor its employment in nebulization.



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Conflict of interest statement
AK received lecture fees from Valeas, Menarini, Chiesi, Italchimici, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Sanofi and Novartis (Italy). AK is a member of the Editorial Board of Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine
Inhaled corticosteroids, flunisolide, nebulization, drug output, particle size
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How to Cite
Kantar, A. (2021). What makes flunisolide different among inhaled corticosteroids used for nebulization: a close look at the role of aqueous solubility . Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine, 16. https://doi.org/10.4081/mrm.2021.719

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