Introduction to Pharmacology of the Lung from a Drug Delivery Perspective

Authored by: Caline McCarthy , Charles Preuss

Handbook of Lung Targeted Drug Delivery Systems

Print publication date:  October  2021
Online publication date:  October  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367490676
eBook ISBN: 9781003046547
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



This chapter offers an introduction to the pharmacology of the lung. Section 2.1 primes readers by detailing the respiratory tract structure and function in order to integrate the location of target drug receptors within the different zones of the lung. Section 2.2 delivers an overview of common respiratory illnesses that require aerosol drug delivery, including asthma, chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cystic fibrosis. Section 2.3 reviews mechanisms of inhalational drug delivery, discussing the significance of particle size and deposition. This section further assesses the advantages and limitations of various inhaler devices, including the pressurized metered-dose inhaler, dry powder inhaler, soft mist inhaler, and three categories of nebulizers. In order to optimize drug delivery and the therapeutic effects of the administered drug, the section highlights the significance of proper provider and patient education. Section 2.4 highlights the classes of drugs commonly used in the management of airway diseases, including β2 adrenergic agonists, muscarinic receptor antagonists (anticholinergics), and corticosteroids. Incorporated are the pathological indications for each therapy. To gain an understanding of the common side effects associated with each drug category, the section covers drug target receptor type, and receptor location (localized and systemic). Section 2.5 highlights oral therapies commonly specified for pulmonary diseases, including an overview of mucolytics/expectorants, phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors, macrolides, and leukotriene modifiers. Section 2.6 dives deeper into the goals of the recommended pharmacological therapies for the two most prevalent obstructive pulmonary diseases, asthma, and COPD. Lastly, Section 2.6 touches on the emerging practice of utilizing the lungs as a method for systemic drug delivery through inhaled medications.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.