VIENNA, AustriaA new oral inhalation system for morphine is
almost as efficient as IV dosing, Aradigm Corp and SmithKline Beecham
researchers reported at the 9th World Congress on Pain. B. A.
Otulana, MD, said that the dose-corrected bioavailability of morphine
with the new device was 75% of that with intravenous morphine, a
major increase over the 5% bioavailability achieved with other
nebulizers. This approach might provide a useful, noninvasive
alternative to parenteral morphine administration.
The Aradigm device uses disposable liquid dosage forms and a
hand-held nebulizer to produce fine aerosol particles that can
penetrate deep into the lungs. It was tested in comparison to
intravenous morphine in 10 healthy adult subjects in an open-label
On separate days, subjects took either 4 mg of morphine IV or four
inhalations of aerosolized morphine (a total dose of 8.8 mg). Plasma
morphine levels were measured at baseline and for 4 hours after
dosing. Both inhaled and intravenous morphine reached peak plasma
concentrations in less than 2 minutes after dosing. Dr. Otulana said
that relative Cmax (ng/mL) bioavailability of the inhaled
dose was 78%, while the area under the curve (AUC) ratio was 163.8% (Table).
This suggests that, at least in healthy volunteers, the morphine
inhalation device provides efficient delivery of morphine and a
pharmacokinetic profile similar to that of intravenous morphine, Dr.