Consensus summary of aerosolized antimicrobial agents: application of guideline criteria. Insights from the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists

Pharmacotherapy. 2010 Jun;30(6):562-84. doi: 10.1592/phco.30.6.562.


Aerosolized delivery of antimicrobial agents is an attractive option for management of pulmonary infections, as this is an ideal method of providing high local drug concentrations while minimizing systemic exposure. With the paucity of consensus regarding the safety, efficacy, and means with which to use aerosolized antimicrobials, a task force was created by the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists to critically review and evaluate the literature on the use of aerosolized antiinfective agents. This article summarizes key findings and statements for preventing or treating a variety of infectious diseases, including cystic fibrosis, bronchiecstasis, hospital-acquired pneumonia, fungal infections, nontuberculosis mycobacterial infection, and Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia. Our intention was to provide guidance for clinicians on the use of aerosolized antibiotics through evidence-based pharmacotherapy. Further research with well-designed clinical trials is necessary to elucidate the optimal dosage and duration of therapy and, of equal importance, to appreciate the true risks associated with the use of aerosolized delivery systems.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Aerosols / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Infective Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Infective Agents / adverse effects
  • Consensus*
  • Drugs, Investigational / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / drug therapy*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / prevention & control*


  • Aerosols
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Drugs, Investigational