Efficient nebulisation of powdered antibiotics

S. P. Newman*, P. G.D. Pellow, S. W. Clarke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Antibiotic aerosols have a role to play in the treatment of certain respiratory tract infections, but relatively viscous antibiotic solutions may be difficult to nebulise efficiently. Solutions of ceftazidime and colistin, made up by adding 3 ml diluent to powder, have been nebulised in vitro by 4 combinations of jet nebuliser and compressor in order to determine the most efficient apparatus for use with each substance. Nebulisation time, droplet size and drug output were determined. Droplet mass median diameters varied according to the type of nebuliser and compressor, but were confined to the range 3.2-5.0 μm throughout the studies. For colistin, DeVilbiss and Turret were both efficient nebulisers, and the use of the more powerful Maxi compressor reduced nebulisation time. For ceftazidime, Turret nebuliser with Maxi compressor was the most efficient system, while the "dead" solution volume retained within the DeVilbiss nebuliser was unacceptably high. These results emphasize the need for careful choice of nebuliser and compressor for use with antibiotic aerosols.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-60
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1987
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant from the Cystic Fibrosis Research Trust.


  • Aerosol
  • Antibiotic
  • Ceftazidime
  • Colistin
  • Nebulisation


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