Swallowing dysfunction and dysphagia is an unrecognized challenge for oral drug therapy

Int J Pharm. 2012 Jul 1;430(1-2):197-206. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2012.04.022. Epub 2012 Apr 15.


There is evidence that swallowing issues and dysphagia are an increasing problem of the aging population in the coming decades that is affecting oral medication administration. There is a variety of clinical expressions of swallowing dysfunction caused by aging, acute or chronic disease conditions, decline in physiological functions and adverse drug reactions. About one third of patients in long term care facilities experience serious difficulties with swallowing solid oral dosage forms (SODF). Manipulations of the solid oral drug products occur frequently in nursery homes leading to medication errors and potential changes in drug product performance. The alteration of the drug products is performed with the best intention of the care giver to help the patients but bears concerns about safety and lawfulness. Alternative SODF and drug delivery technologies should be considered in the development of new and generic products and their prescription to overcome medication administration problems in patients with swallowing difficulties of SODF.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Age Factors
  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical
  • Deglutition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Deglutition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Deglutition Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Deglutition Disorders / therapy
  • Deglutition*
  • Dosage Forms
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
  • Humans
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / administration & dosage*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / chemistry
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Technology, Pharmaceutical / methods


  • Dosage Forms
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations