Status of inhalable antimicrobial agents for lung infection: progress and prospects

Expert Rev Respir Med. 2021 May 4;1-20. doi: 10.1080/17476348.2021.1919514. Online ahead of print.


Introduction: Available parenteral and oral administration of antimicrobial agents (AMAs) in respiratory infections often show less penetration into the lung parenchyma. Due to inappropriate dose availability, the rate of antibiotic resistance is increasing gradually. Inhaled antibiotics intensely improve the availability of drugs at the site of respiratory infections. This targeted delivery minimizes systemic exposure and associated toxicity.Area covers: This review was performed by searching in the scientific database like PubMed and several trusted government sites like,,, etc. For better understanding, AMAs are classified in different stages of approval. Mechanism and characterization of pulmonary drug deposition section helps to understand the effective delivery of AMAs to the respiratory tract. There is a need for proper adoption of delivery devices for inhalable AMAs. Thus, delivery devices are extensively explained. Inspiratory flow has a remarkable impact on the delivery device that has been explained in detail.Expert opinion: Pulmonary delivery restricts the bulk administration of drugs in comparison with other routes. Therefore, novel AMAs with higher bactericidal activity at lower concentrations need to be synthesized. Extensive research is indeed in developing innovative delivery devices that would able to deliver higher doses of AMAs through the pulmonary route.

Keywords: Pulmonary delivery; antimicrobial drugs; dry powder inhaler; infection; lung; metered dose inhaler; nebulizer; smart inhaler.