Long-acting inhaled medicines: Present and future

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Inhaled medicines continue to be an essential part of treatment for respiratory diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cystic fibrosis. In addition, inhalation technology, which is an active area of research and innovation to deliver medications via the lung to the bloodstream, offers potential advantages such as rapid onset of action, enhanced bioavailability, and reduced side effects for local treatments. Certain inhaled macromolecules and particles can also end up in different organs via lymphatic transport from the respiratory epithelium. While the majority of research on inhaled medicines is focused on the delivery technology, particle engineering, combination therapies, innovations in inhaler devices, and digital health technologies, researchers are also exploring new pharmaceutical technologies and strategies to prolong the duration of action of inhaled drugs. This is because, in contrast to most inhaled medicines that exert a rapid onset and short duration of action, long-acting inhaled medicines (LAIM) improve not only the patient compliance by reducing the dosing frequency, but also the effectiveness and convenience of inhaled therapies to better manage patients’ conditions. This paper reviews the advances in LAIM, the pharmaceutical technologies and strategies for developing LAIM, and emerging new inhaled modalities that possess a long-acting nature and potential in the treatment and prevention of various diseases. The challenges in the development of the future LAIM are also discussed where active research and innovations are taking place.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115146
JournalAdvanced Drug Delivery Reviews
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s)

    Research areas

  • Inhaled medicines, Long-acting effects, New inhaled modalities, Pulmonary drug delivery

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