Experimental lung research

Preclinical safety evaluation of submicronized sildenafil citrate nebulization solution in small experimental animals.

PMID 26381717


Sildenafil citrate (SC) nebulization solution has the potential to treat pulmonary hypertension by delivering high concentration directly to the respiratory system while minimizing systemic drug exposure and associated toxicity. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the potential toxicity of aerosolized SC (inhaled) in Sprague dawley rats for 28 days. The rats were randomly divided into five groups (n = 6). Placebo (normal saline) was inhaled to group I (control). Group II was exposed to therapeutic dose (TD): 20 mg/kg, while group 3 and group 4 were exposed to 3 TD and 6 TD, respectively, till 28 days and toxicokinetic parameters were evaluated in group V. The particle size of the nebulized solution of SC (1%) was measured by using Anderson Cascade Impactor. At the end of experiment, all animals were sacrificed. Endpoints used to evaluate potential toxicity of inhaled sildenafil citrate were clinical observations, body weight, and clinical pathology along with broncho-alveolar lavage (BAL) Fluid investigation. ACI study has shown that more than 70% aerosolized drug particles were in submicron range (0.3-0.5 μm). There was no systemic toxicity or clinically limiting local respiratory toxicity associated with inhalation exposure to SC nebulization solution at 6 TD. No significant changes were observed in the level of different blood and BALF parameters in treated groups in comparison to control. Histopathological examination revealed no abnormal findings in the animals of treated group. The data demonstrate that aerosolized sildenafil citrate is well tolerated in rats and suggest its use in humans.