Affiliation: University of Kentucky, College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences-Drug Development Division, 789 South Limestone Street, Lexington, KY 40536- 0596, USA
Most respiratory infections, diseases and allergic reactions have varying degrees of inflammation. Inflammation is a natural immunodefensive response to the presence of allergens or foreign particles that come into contact or affect the cells and tissues within the respiratory tract. The three main types of therapeutic drug classes available for anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy effects are corticosteroids, antihistamines and decongestants. Corticosteroid drugs for pulmonary inhalation and/or nasal delivery include beclomethasone dipropionate, budesonide, ciclesonide, fluticasone furoate, fluticasone propionate, mometasone furoate, and triamcinolone acetonide. Antihistamine drugs for nasal delivery include azelastine and olopatadine. Two common decongestants available are oxymetazoline and phenylephrine. Another therapeutic class, the anticholinergic agents, such as ipratropium bromide and tiotropium bromide, are used in pulmonary delivery in the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The mast cell stabilizer therapeutic class, cromolyn sodium, can be used to prevent and relieve nasal allergic symptoms. Additionally cromolyn sodium was the first dry powder inhaler product for pulmonary drug delivery several decades ago and currently is on the market as a pressurized metered dose inhaler for pulmonary inhalation delivery. Based on the devices used in pulmonary drug delivery, this route can be subdivided into three categories; namely nebulizers, pressurized metered dose inhalers, and dry powder inhalers. Nasal delivery of anti-inflammatory and antiallergy drugs is most commonly available commercially in an aqueous spray form. This article comprehensively reviews and discusses different kinds of drugs used for anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects via the pulmonary and nasal delivery route, as well as their mechanisms of action, marketed products, disease state indications while highlighting drug delivery and therapeutic aspects.