Effect of a spacer on total systemic and lung bioavailability in healthy volunteers and in vitro performance of the Symbicort® (budesonide/formoterol) pressurized metered dose inhaler
Journal article, 2018
Introduction: Many patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma experience difficulties in coordinating inhalation with pressurized metered-dose inhaler (pMDI) actuation. The use of a spacer device can improve drug delivery in these patients. The aim of this study was to establish the relative bioavailability of single doses of Symbicort® (budesonide/formoterol) pMDI 160/4.5 μg/actuation (2 actuations) used with and without a spacer device. In addition, an in vitro study was conducted to characterize performance of the inhaler when used in conjunction with a spacer device. Methods: A Phase I, randomized, open-label, single-dose, single-center, crossover study in 50 healthy volunteers (NCT02934607) assessed the relative bioavailability of single-dose Symbicort® pMDI 160/4.5 μg/actuation (2 actuations) with and without a spacer (AeroChamber Plus® Flow-Vu®). Inhaled doses were administered without or with activated charcoal (taken orally) to estimate total systemic exposure and exposure through the lung, respectively. The in vitro study characterized the effect of the spacer with respect to delivered dose, fine particle dose, and dose during simulated breathing of budesonide and formoterol. Results: In terms of total systemic exposure, use of the spacer increased the relative bioavailability determined by AUC(0-last) and Cmax by 68% (spacer:no spacer treatment ratio, 167.9%; 90% CI, 144.1 to 195.6) and 99% (ratio, 198.7%; 90% CI, 164.4 to 240.2) for budesonide, and 77% (ratio, 176.6%; 90% CI, 145.1 to 215.0) and 124% (ratio, 223.6%; 90% CI, 189.9 to 263.3) for formoterol, respectively, compared with pMDI alone. Similarly, the lung exposure of budesonide and formoterol increased (AUC(0-last) and Cmax by 146% [ratio, 246.0%; 90% CI, 200.7 to 301.6] and 127% [ratio, 226.5%; 90% CI, 186.4 to 275.4] for budesonide, and 173% [ratio, 272.8%; 90% CI, 202.5 to 367.4] and 136% [ratio, 236.2%; 90% CI, 192.6 to 289.6] for formoterol, respectively) when the pMDI was administered through the spacer. When assessed by AUC(0-last) quartile without spacer, subjects in the lowest exposure quartile (indicating poor inhalation technique) with Symbicort® pMDI 160/4.5 μg/actuation (2 actuations) had markedly increased total systemic and lung exposure when the same dose was administered with the spacer. In contrast, for subjects in the highest exposure quartile with pMDI alone, total systemic and lung exposure of formoterol and budesonide was similar with and without the spacer. In the in vitro study, the fine particle dose (<5 μm) of both budesonide and formoterol from the spacer at delay time (i.e. pause period after actuation) = 0 s (instantaneous) after actuation was similar to the fine particle dose when not using the spacer. The delivered doses of budesonide and formoterol from the spacer were both lower compared with the doses administered without the spacer. There was also a decrease in delivered dose with increasing delay time. Conclusions: The clinical study demonstrated that in subjects with poor inhalation technique the use of the AeroChamber Plus® Flow-Vu® spacer increased the bioavailability of Symbicort® pMDI to a level observed in subjects with good inhalation technique without a spacer. The findings from the in vitro study support the fine particle dose characteristics of Symbicort® pMDI with the AeroChamber Plus® Flow-Vu® spacer.