Therapeutic Uses Of Aerosols

Aerosol preparations of drugs are most commonly used for the treatment of diseases involving airway obstruction, namely bronchodilators and antiinflammatory agents in asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema. Other uses of aerosol therapies include mucolytics (for decreasing the thickness or viscosity of mucus in diseases involving abnormal mucus secretion, e.g., pneumonia, bronchitis, cystic fibrosis) and antibiotics (for treatment of lung infections). In addition, aerosols may be used for clinical investigation and diagnosis, an example of which is delineation of airway reactivity using bronchoconstrictors. In general, current therapeutic uses of aerosols exploit the ability of an aerosol to deliver a high concentration of a drug locally to the airways without eliciting the side effects that otherwise attend administration by alternative routes.

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