Introduction

In the treatment of disease, aerosol administration represents a valuable means by which a therapeutic agent may be delivered. This route possesses many advantages over other routes of administration for the treatment of specific disease states, particularly those associated with the lungs. However, aerosol administration also exhibits unique limitations. To appreciate fully the usefulness or potential of aerosols as a means of drug delivery, it is important that the advantages and disadvantages of aerosols for this task be considered. This chapter deals with the pharmacology (including pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics) of aerosolized drugs in the airways. The impact of airway histology and physiology as they pertain to the action of an aerosolized drug are also considered.

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