A review of co-milling techniques for the production of high dose dry powder inhaler formulation.

Drug delivery by inhalation offers several advantages compared to other dosage forms, including rapid clinical onset, high bioavailability, and minimal systemic side effects. Drug delivery to the lung can be achieved as liquid suspensions or solutions in nebulizers and pressurized metered-dose inhalers (pMDI), or as dry powders in dry powder inhalers (DPIs). Compared to other delivery systems, DPIs are, in many cases, considered the most convenient as they are breath actuated and do not require the use of propellants. Currently, the delivery of low drug doses for the treatment of lung conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are well established, with numerous commercial products available on the market. The delivery of low doses can be achieved from either standard carrier- or aggregate-based formulations, which are unsuitable in the delivery of high doses due to particle segregation associated with carrier active site saturation and the cohesiveness of micronized aggregates which have poor flow and de-agglomeration properties. High-dose delivery is required for the treatment of lung infection (i.e. antibiotics) and in the emerging application of drug delivery for the management of systemic conditions (i.e. diabetes). Therefore, there is a demand for new methods for production of high-dose dry powder formulations. This paper presents a review of co-mill processing, for the production of high-efficiency inhalation therapies, including the jet mill, mechanofusion, or ball mill methodologies. We investigate the different techniques, additives, and drugs studied, and impact on performance in DPI systems.