Novel Carrier Systems For Oral Delivery Of Insulin
Prashant V. Shinde
The oral route is considered to be the most convenient and desired route of drug delivery, especially when repeated or routine administration is necessary 1. Insulin is usually administered to diabetic patients through subcutaneous injection. However, the problems encountered with subcutaneous insulin injections are pain, allergic reactions, hyperinsulinemia, and insulin lipodystrophy around the injection site 2. Insulin if administered via the oral route will help eliminate the pain caused by injection, psychological barriers associated with multiple daily injections such as needle anxiety 3 and possible infections 4. In addition, oral insulin is advantageous because it is delivered directly to the liver, its primary site of action, via the portal circulation, a mechanism very similar to endogenous insulin; subcutaneous insulin treatment however does not replicate the normal dynamics of endogenous insulin release, resulting in a failure to achieve a lasting glycemic control in patients 5, 6. In light of the above distinct benefits, pharmaceutical technologists have been trying to design an oral delivery system for insulin. Such is the interest in oral insulin delivery that some pharmaceutical companies are solely focused on it.
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