Background: N-chlorotaurine (NCT), a long-lived oxidant produced by human leukocytes, can be synthesized chemically and used topically as a well-tolerated antiseptic to different body regions including sensitive ones. The aim of this study was to test the tolerability of inhaled 1% NCT in aqueous solution upon repeated application.
Methods: The study was performed double-blind and randomized with a parallel test group (1% NCT) and control group (0.9% NaCl as placebo). There were two Austrian centres involved, the hospitals, Natters and Vöcklabruck. Healthy, full age volunteers were included, 12 in each centre. A total of 12 patients were treated with NCT, and 12 with placebo, exactly half of each group from each centre. The single dose was 1.2 ml inhaled over a period of 10 min using an AKITA JET nebulizer. One inhalation was done every day for five consecutive days. The primary criterion of evaluation was the forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1). Secondary criteria were subjective sensations, further lung function parameters such as airway resistance, physical examination, and blood analyses (gases, electrolytes, organ function values, pharmacokinetic parameters taurine and methionine, immune parameters).
Results: All included 15 females and 9 males completed the treatment and the control examinations according to the study protocol. FEV1 (100.83% ± 8.04% for NCT and 92.92% ± 11.35% for controls) remained unchanged and constant during the treatment and in control examinations 1 week and 3 months after the treatment (98.75% ± 7.37% for NCT and 91.17% ± 9.46% for controls, p > 0.082 between time points within each group). The same was true for all other objective parameters. Subjective mild sensations with a higher frequency in the test group were chlorine taste ( p < 0.01) and occasional tickle in the throat ( p = 0.057). Taurine and methionine plasma concentrations did not change within 60 min after inhalation or later on.
Conclusions: Inhaled NCT is well tolerated as in other applications of different body regions. Side effects are mild, topical and transitory. The study was registered prospectively in the European Clinical Trials Database of the European Medicines Agency. The EudraCT number is 2012-003700-12.
Keywords: N-chlorotaurine; antimicrobial; antiseptic; clinical phase I; clinical trial; inhalation.