Buccal bioadhesive drug delivery--a promising option for orally less efficient drugs

J Control Release. 2006 Aug 10;114(1):15-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2006.04.012. Epub 2006 Jul 7.


Rapid developments in the field of molecular biology and gene technology resulted in generation of many macromolecular drugs including peptides, proteins, polysaccharides and nucleic acids in great number possessing superior pharmacological efficacy with site specificity and devoid of untoward and toxic effects. However, the main impediment for the oral delivery of these drugs as potential therapeutic agents is their extensive presystemic metabolism, instability in acidic environment resulting into inadequate and erratic oral absorption. Parenteral route of administration is the only established route that overcomes all these drawbacks associated with these orally less/inefficient drugs. But, these formulations are costly, have least patient compliance, require repeated administration, in addition to the other hazardous effects associated with this route. Over the last few decades' pharmaceutical scientists throughout the world are trying to explore transdermal and transmucosal routes as an alternative to injections. Among the various transmucosal sites available, mucosa of the buccal cavity was found to be the most convenient and easily accessible site for the delivery of therapeutic agents for both local and systemic delivery as retentive dosage forms, because it has expanse of smooth muscle which is relatively immobile, abundant vascularization, rapid recovery time after exposure to stress and the near absence of langerhans cells. Direct access to the systemic circulation through the internal jugular vein bypasses drugs from the hepatic first pass metabolism leading to high bioavailability. Further, these dosage forms are self-administrable, cheap and have superior patient compliance. Developing a dosage form with the optimum pharmacokinetics is a promising area for continued research as it is enormously important and intellectually challenging. With the right dosage form design, local environment of the mucosa can be controlled and manipulated in order to optimize the rate of drug dissolution and permeation. A rational approach to dosage form design requires a complete understanding of the physicochemical and biopharmaceutical properties of the drug and excipients. Advances in experimental and computational methodologies will be helpful in shortening the processing time from formulation design to clinical use. This paper aims to review the developments in the buccal adhesive drug delivery systems to provide basic principles to the young scientists, which will be useful to circumvent the difficulties associated with the formulation design.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Pharmaceutic / chemistry
  • Administration, Buccal
  • Animals
  • Biopolymers / chemistry
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods*
  • Drug Delivery Systems / trends
  • Drug Design
  • Humans
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / administration & dosage*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / chemistry
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Tissue Adhesives / chemistry*


  • Adjuvants, Pharmaceutic
  • Biopolymers
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Polymers
  • Tissue Adhesives