Compressor/nebulizers differences in the nebulization of corticosteroids. The CODE study (Corticosteroids and Devices Efficiency)

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2007 Jul-Aug;11(4):225-37.


Background: Nebulization is a common method of medical aerosol generation and it is largely used by adults and children all over the world, both for emergency treatment of acute illness and for long-term home treatment of lung diseases. The aim of this study was to determine the differences in nebulization of inhaled corticosteroids among four representative types of compressor/nebulizers.

Methods: Twelve compressor/jet nebulizers from four commercial sources were studied (three for each type): Clenny (MEDEL), Turbo Boy/LC Plus (PARI), Nebula Nuovo/MB5 (MARKOS MEFAR) and Maxaer (ARTSANA) compressor/Sidestream (Medic-Aid Ltd.) nebulizer. We compared the required time for the treatment (nebulization time), output/minutes, compressor pressures, and aerosol characteristics of inhaled corticosteroids: Beclomethasone dipropionate, Flunisolide, Fluticasone propionate and Budesonide.

Results: Nebulization Times showed a significant difference between nebulizer and inhaled corticosteroids for Clenny, Turbo Boy, and Maxaer. A considerable difference in the output of nebulized drugs was observed through the compressors/nebulizers. MMAD of all inhaled corticosteroids was significantly different among the four nebulizers. The percentage of particles <5 microm (respirable range) was high for all devices with beclomethasone and budesonide (> 90%), whereas with flunisolide was good only for Clenny (98.8%) and Maxaer (96.3%), and with fluticasone only for Clenny (98%), Turbo Boy (99.1%), and Maxaer (86%). Also percentage of particles <2 microm showed significant variability among the devices.

Conclusions: Our results clearly demonstrate that compressor/nebulizer unit plays a key role in the effectiveness of the treatment during inhaled corticosteroid therapy, and that several differences exist in the performance of the different nebulizers studied. Therefore, the device has the same importance of the compound to reach the best clinical response in the inflammatory diseases of the lower airways.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / administration & dosage*
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / chemistry*
  • Aerosols
  • Androstadienes / administration & dosage
  • Androstadienes / chemistry
  • Beclomethasone / administration & dosage
  • Beclomethasone / chemistry
  • Budesonide / administration & dosage
  • Budesonide / chemistry
  • Drug Delivery Systems / instrumentation*
  • Equipment Design
  • Fluocinolone Acetonide / administration & dosage
  • Fluocinolone Acetonide / analogs & derivatives
  • Fluocinolone Acetonide / chemistry
  • Fluticasone
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers*
  • Particle Size
  • Time Factors
  • Volatilization


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Aerosols
  • Androstadienes
  • Fluocinolone Acetonide
  • Budesonide
  • flunisolide
  • Fluticasone
  • Beclomethasone