Optimization of pharmaceutical formulations for therapy.
ABSTRACT A pharmaceutical formulation is aimed at ensuring drug delivery at the site of action in order to produce the desired therapeutic effect. The design of a pharmaceutical formulation must reflect the chemical reactivity of the drug substance as well as those of any other substances that are used in the formulation. Standardized manufacturing procedures that conform to accepted codes of Good Manufacturing Practices are prerequisites for the preparation of pharmaceutical formulations for optimal drug delivery. Drug formulations produced by such methods are expected to have the desired bioavailability characteristics for pharmacotherapy. The different types of pharmaceutical formulations usually prepared for administration by various routes are aimed at achieving the most appropriate drug delivery system for each drug. When necessary, special drug delivery systems are designed to achieve this objective. Advances in biotechnology has led to production of labile substances for use as drugs in therapy and this has created new challenges in the development of novel drug delivery systems. The sublingual, buccal, nasal and oropharyngeal routes of drug delivery have become of great interest in the delivery of bioactive peptides like insulin and interferons and pharmaceutical formulations have to be designed to meet such challenges. Of no less importance are the traditional herbal preparations whose formulation strategies have been much less understood and their therapeutic significance underestimated. Greater interest in, and investment on research on these herbal preparations will open new avenues for pharmacotherapy.