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.
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