The AAPS Journal

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 159–171 | Cite as

A Pharmacokinetic Simulation Tool for Inhaled Corticosteroids

  • Benjamin Weber
  • Guenther HochhausEmail author
Research Article


The pharmacokinetic (PK) behavior of inhaled drugs is more complicated than that of other forms of administration. In particular, the effects of certain physiological (mucociliary clearance and differences in membrane properties in central and peripheral (C/P) areas of the lung), formulation (as it relates to drug deposition and particle dissolution rate), and patient-related factors (lung function; effects on C/P deposition ratio) affect the systemic PKs of inhaled drugs. The objectives of this project were (1) to describe a compartmental model that adequately describes the fate of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) after administration while incorporating variability between and within subjects and (2) based upon the model, to provide a freely available tool for simulation of PK trials after ICS administration. This compartment model allows for mucociliary removal of undissolved particles from the lung, distinguishes between central and peripheral regions of the lung, and models drug entering the systemic circulation via the lung and the gastrointestinal tract. The PK simulation tool is provided as an extension package to the statistical software R (‘ICSpkTS’). It allows simulation of PK trials for hypothetical ICS and of four commercially available ICS (budesonide, flunisolide, fluticasone propionate, and triamcinolone acetonide) in a parallel study design. Simulated PK data and parameters agreed well with literature data for all four ICS. The ICSpkTS package is especially suitable to explore the effect of changes in model parameters on PK behavior and can be easily adjusted for other inhaled drugs.


compartment model inhaled corticosteroids pharmacokinetics trial simulation 



We would like to thank Saskia Fuhrmann, Uta Schilling, and especially Bhargava Kandala, for all their assistance with this project.


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Copyright information

© American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, Center of Pharmacometrics and Systems PharmacologyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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