• beclometasone 17-monopropionate;
  • beclometasone dipropionate;
  • extra-fine;
  • fixed combination;
  • formoterol;
  • spacer


• Use of a spacer minimizes oropharyngeal deposition and optimizes drug targeting to the airways in subjects with coordination difficulties. However, the increase in pulmonary deposition often observed with spacer devices, could potentially lead to an increase in overall systemic exposure.

• EMA guidelines recommend that the development of a pMDI should always include testing of at least one specific spacer for use with a particular pMDI.

• The aim of this study was to examine the effect of AeroChamber Plus™ on the lung bioavailability and total systemic exposure of a hydrofluoroalkane (HFA) pMDI fixed combination of extra-fine beclometasone dipropionate/formoterol (100/6 µg) (Foster®).


• The use of AeroChamber Plus™ optimizes the lung delivery of beclometasone and formoterol in subjects that find it difficult to synchronize aerosol actuation with the inspiration of breath.

• The total systemic exposure of beclometasone 17-monopropionate and formoterol was not significantly increased by the use of the AeroChamber Plus™ spacer.

• Use of the AeroChamber Plus™ spacer device with the extra-fine beclometasone dipropionate/formoterol (100/6 µg) fixed combination pMDI can be a valuable option for certain patients groups, such as subjects with difficulties in achieving an adequate inhalation technique.

AIM To assess the effect of AeroChamber Plus™ on lung deposition and systemic exposure to extra-fine beclometasone dipropionate (BDP)/formoterol (100/6 µg) pMDI (Foster®). The lung deposition of the components of the combination given with the pMDI was also evaluated using the charcoal block technique.

METHODS Twelve healthy male volunteers received four inhalations of extra-fine BDP/formoterol (100/6 µg) using (i) pMDI alone, (ii) pMDI and AeroChamber Plus™ and (iii) pMDI and charcoal ingestion.

RESULTS Compared with pMDI alone, use of AeroChamber Plus™ increased the peak plasma concentrations (Cmax) of BDP (2822.3 ± 1449.9 vs. 5454.9 ± 3197.1 pg ml−1), its active metabolite beclometasone 17-monopropionate (17-BMP) (771.6 ± 288.7 vs. 1138.9 ± 495.6 pg ml−1) and formoterol (38.4 ± 17.8 vs. 54.7 ± 20.0 pg ml−1). For 17-BMP and formoterol, the AUC(0,30 min), indicative of lung deposition, was increased in the AeroChamber Plus™ group by 41% and 45%, respectively. This increase was mainly observed in subjects with inadequate inhalation technique. However, use of AeroChamber Plus™ did not increase the total systemic exposure to 17-BMP and formoterol. Results after ingestion of charcoal confirmed that AUC(0,30 min) can be taken as an index of lung bioavailability and that more than 30% of the inhaled dose of extra-fine BDP/formoterol 100/6 µg was delivered to the lung using the pMDI alone.

CONCLUSIONS The use of AeroChamber Plus™ optimizes the delivery of BDP and formoterol to the lung in subjects with inadequate inhalation technique. The total systemic exposure was not increased, supporting the safety of extra-fine BDP/formoterol pMDI with AeroChamber Plus™.