Pulmonary drug delivery. Part I: Physiological factors affecting therapeutic effectiveness of aerosolized medications
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As the end organ for the treatment of local diseases or as the route of administration for systemic therapies, the lung is a very attractive target for drug delivery. It provides direct access to disease in the treatment of respiratory diseases, while providing an enormous surface area and a relatively low enzymatic, controlled environment for systemic absorption of medications. As a major port of entry, the lung has evolved to prevent the invasion of unwanted airborne particles from entering into the body. Airway geometry, humidity, mucociliary clearance and alveolar macrophages play a vital role in maintaining the sterility of the lung and consequently are barriers to the therapeutic effectiveness of inhaled medications. In addition, a drug's efficacy may be affected by where in the respiratory tract it is deposited, its delivered dose and the disease it may be trying to treat.
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