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December 1982

Clinical Aerosols: II. Therapeutic Aerosols

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago.

Arch Intern Med. 1982;142(13):2299-2308. doi:10.1001/archinte.142.13.2299

The current uses of clinical aerosols such as water, saline, mucolytics, bronchodilators, cromolyn sodium, corticosteroids, and antimicrobials have been reviewed. The benefits of water, saline, and detergent aerosols continue to be surrounded by uncertainty and controversy. Aerosolized mucolytic and proteolytic agents have not been conclusively shown to be of substantial value in the improvement of respiratory disorders. Favorable bronchodilator therapy is achieved with serosols of certain sympathomimetic and anticholinergic agents. However, successful therapy depends on the dose administered and the site of aerosol deposition in the lung. The prophylactic use of cromolyn sodium in patients with asthma is another useful application of aerosols. Topically active corticosteroid aerosols are increasingly being used since they may reduce risks of systemic effects from corticosteroids. Research on uncommonly aerosolized agents has widened the spectrum of therapeutic applications of aerosols.

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