The oral mucosae in general are leaky epithelia intermediate between that of the epidermis and intestinal mucosa. It is estimated that the permeability of the buccal mucosa is 4-4000 times greater than that of the skin. The buccal mucosa offers several advantages for controlled drug delivery for extended periods of time. The mucosa is well supplied with both vascular and lymphatic drainage and first-pass metabolism in the liver and pre-systemic elimination in the gastrointestinal tract are avoided. The area is well suited for a retentive device and appears to be acceptable to the patient. With the right dosage form design and formulation, the permeability and the local environment of the mucosa can be controlled and manipulated in order to accommodate drug permeation. Buccal drug delivery is a promising area for continued research with the aim of systemic delivery of orally inefficient drugs as well as a feasible and attractive alternative for non-invasive delivery of potent peptide and protein drug molecules. However, the need for safe and effective buccal permeation/absorption enhancers is a crucial component for a prospective future in the area of buccal drug delivery. More over buccal drug absorption can be terminated promptly in case of toxicity by removing the dosage form from the buccal cavity. It is also possible to administer the drug to patients who cannot be dosed orally to prevent accidental swallowing.
Keywords: Pre-systemic elimination, non-invasive delivery, permeability.
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