Novel simvastatin inhalation formulation and characterisation

Alaa S. Tulbah, Hui Xin Ong, Paolo Colombo, Paul M. Young, Daniela Traini*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Simvastatin (SV), a drug of the statin class currently used orally as an anti-cholesterolemic via the inhibition of the 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-Coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase, has been found not only to reduce cholesterol but also to have several other pharmacological actions that might be beneficial in airway inflammatory diseases. Currently, there is no inhalable formulation that could deliver SV to the lungs. In this study, a pressurised metered-dose inhaler (pMDI) solution formulation of SV was manufactured, with ethanol as a co-solvent, and its aerosol performance and physico-chemical properties investigated. A pMDI solution formulation containing SV and 6% w/w ethanol was prepared. This formulation was assessed visually and quantitatively for SV solubility. Furthermore, the aerosol performance (using Andersen Cascade impactor at 28.3 L/min) and active ingredient chemical stability up to 6 months at different storage temperatures, 4 and 25°C, were also evaluated. The physico-chemical properties of the SV solution pMDI were also characterised by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and laser diffraction. The aerosol particles, determined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), presented a smooth surface morphology and were spherical in shape. The aerosol produced had a fine particle fraction of 30.77 ± 2.44% and a particle size distribution suitable for inhalation drug delivery. Furthermore, the short-term chemical stability showed the formulation to be stable at 4°C for up to 6 months, whilst at 25°C, the formulation was stable up to 3 months. In this study, a respirable and stable SV solution pMDI formulation for inhalation has been presented that could potentially be used clinically as an anti-inflammatory therapy for the treatment of several lung diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)956-962
Number of pages7
JournalAAPS PharmSciTech
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • lung inflammation
  • pMDI
  • pressurised metered dose inhaler
  • simvastatin


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