Simulating the postprandial stomach: physiological considerations for dissolution and release testing

Mol Pharm. 2013 May 6;10(5):1610-22. doi: 10.1021/mp300604u. Epub 2013 Apr 1.


Food effects on drug release and absorption from solid oral dosage forms are a common biopharmaceutical problem. The fed state is characterized by different motility and secretory activity of the complete gastrointestinal (GI) tract compared to fasting conditions. Due to long gastric transit times, the postprandial stomach plays an essential role for drug release and the appearance of food effects. Therefore, a concise comprehension of the relationship between food intake and its effect on drug release from solid oral dosage forms is essential to understand their dissolution behavior under fed conditions. This review describes important aspects of stomach physiology occurring after meal ingestion with particular reference to the FDA standard breakfast. A brief overview of oral and gastric food processing and their potential influence on drug release is given. The key factors affecting the intragastric dissolution of solid oral dosage forms and their regional distribution in the stomach are discussed. Additionally, the effects of food properties on gastric emptying kinetics are presented. Mechanical aspects such as intragastric pressures and hydrodynamics caused by gastric peristalsis are defined. The initial state and the dynamic changes of the gastric content during digestion are characterized since the different physicochemical aspects such as pH value, buffer capacity, rheological properties or surface tension may be essential for the in vivo dissolution profiles of oral dosage forms. Possible effects of the discrete interplay of the physiological factors on the in vivo drug delivery behavior of solid oral dosage forms are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Biological Availability
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Gastric Emptying
  • Gastrointestinal Transit
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Mastication
  • Models, Biological
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / administration & dosage
  • Postprandial Period / physiology*
  • Salivation
  • Stomach / physiology*


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations