[Dry powder inhalers in cystic fibrosis]

Pneumologie. 2014 Jun;68(6):378-85. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1365321. Epub 2014 Mar 24.
[Article in German]


Inhaled medications play an important role in the daily treatment of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). The classic route of administration was nebulisation via jet nebulisers. Respiratory delivery of fluid particles should loosen the viscid respiratory secretions, making airway clearance via cough or physiotherapy more efficient. Until recently, only jet nebulisers allowed to administer high doses of aerosolised antipseudomonal antibiotics. Powder inhalers for the treatment of cystic fibrosis have recently been made available. The newly developed powders and inhalers differ considerably from conventional dry powder inhalers used for the treatment of chronic obstructive airway disease. The present article will review two inhaled antibiotics, i. e. tobramycin and colistin, and the hyperosmotic agent mannitol, which increases the hydration of the airways. Topics are particle engineering, efficacy and tolerability results from clinical trials, as well as functional and practical aspects related to these new drugs.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Aerosols / administration & dosage
  • Aerosols / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Colistin / administration & dosage*
  • Colistin / chemistry
  • Cystic Fibrosis / drug therapy*
  • Diuretics, Osmotic / administration & dosage
  • Diuretics, Osmotic / chemistry
  • Drug Compounding / methods
  • Dry Powder Inhalers*
  • Humans
  • Mannitol / administration & dosage*
  • Mannitol / chemistry
  • Powders
  • Pseudomonas Infections / drug therapy*
  • Tobramycin / administration & dosage*
  • Tobramycin / chemistry


  • Aerosols
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Diuretics, Osmotic
  • Powders
  • Mannitol
  • Tobramycin
  • Colistin