?A dry powder inhaler (DPI) is a device that delivers medication to the lungs or bloodstream of a patient as dry powder. They are commonly used to treat respiratory diseases such as asthma or COPD, but are increasingly being used to administer vaccines and other medications. Because of environmental and safety issues with aerosol based inhalers, dry powder inhalers are becoming more popular.


With DPI’s, the drug is mixed with an excipient, typically lactose, and loaded into the inhaler. Inhalers contain the mixture as single or multiple doses, depending upon the design of the inhaler device. Single doses are most common where one dose is contained in a single dose capsule which can be loaded into the device.
When the patient uses the inhaler, they breathe in a dose of the drug/excipient mixture. In most cases, the drug is very fine in particle size where the excipient is coarse. While traveling through the patients airways, the drug separates from the excipient, to reach the lungs, while the excpient is harmlessly deposited in nasal passages.

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The biggest challenges that formulators face with dry powder inhalers are obtaining a uniform blend with the drug and excipient, ensuring an accurate dose, and repeatable release of the drug from the excipient while using the device.

Kerry produces lactose for use as the excipient in DPI’s. We offer many different particle sizes of Monohydrate and Anhydrous Lactose that can be used in dry powder inhalation applications. Our lactose manufacturing process is tightly controlled to guarantee batch to batch uniformity which reduces the challenge of producing uniform doses and less variable drug/excipient release. Our lactose is also produces in FDA registered plants with strict adherence to GMP standards to ensure the safety and reliability of our products. Drug master files are also available for all of our inhalation products.

We will work with you to ensure that we offer you a grade of lactose that will work in your dry powder inhalation formulation.

Kerry wants to help you succeed – contact us for application and formulation assistance
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