Advances in the use of tocols as drug delivery vehicles

Pharm Res. 2006 Feb;23(2):243-55. doi: 10.1007/s11095-005-9262-9. Epub 2006 Jan 25.


There has been increasing interest in recent years in the drug delivery applications of tocols and their derivatives. Their biocompatibility and potential to deliver both poorly soluble and water-soluble drugs make tocols attractive as drug delivery vehicles. This review article will focus primarily on topical, oral, and parenteral drug administration using tocols, although other routes of delivery such as pulmonary and nasal will also be discussed. After an overview of the tocol structures, physicochemical properties with emphasis on their solvent properties, functions, and metabolism, specific case studies will be discussed where tocols have been successfully used in topical, oral, and parenteral drug formulations and marketed drug products. Case studies will be extended to those where tocol-based formulations were administered pulmonarily and nasally. As more clinical data and marketed drug products emerge, the utility and therapeutic value of tocols will certainly increase.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical
  • Drug Carriers*
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Humans
  • Solvents
  • Tocopherols* / chemistry


  • Drug Carriers
  • Solvents
  • Tocopherols