Top 10 benefits of oral films
by Christine Kaufmann on Jul 10, 2023 9:55:32 AM
Oral films have a long list of advantages, not only for patients, but also for medical use and from a manufacturing point of view. Reading the following list of the top 10 benefits will make you want to start developing an oral film right now!
Top 10 benefits of oral film drug delivery systems
1. Variety of application options: One of the most significant advantages of oral films is their versatility in terms of application options. They can be designed for oral, lingual, sublingual, or buccal use, depending on the desired effect and patient needs. For instance, some medications may need to be delivered directly to the bloodstream through the sublingual or buccal mucosa to achieve faster onset of action and higher bioavailability, while others may require oral administration for gastrointestinal absorption (e.g. like the Rapidfilm®). Oral films can also be designed for local treatment within the mouth without permeation of the API into the bloodstream or systemic absorption. This flexibility in formulation allows for customized treatment options and improved patient adherence, as oral films can be tailored to meet specific requirements for different goals.
The different administration routes of oral films
2. Oral films are easy to use: Unlike traditional medications that require swallowing with water or chewing, oral films can be taken without any additional fluids or actions. This makes them an ideal drug delivery system for patients who may have difficulty swallowing pills (e.g. specific patient groups such as the elderly or patients with nausea) or those who are always on-the-go.
3. Faster onset of action: When the film is administered through oromucosal administration, the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) penetrates the mucous membrane, allowing for quicker absorption and distribution into the bloodstream. This makes oral films a highly effective alternative to traditional medications for patients who require immediate treatment. An example of an oral film that takes the oromucosal route (e.g. buccal or sublingual) is the Mucofilm®.
4. Guaranteed dose and treatment: One of the major advantages of oral films is the assurance of a guaranteed dose and treatment.
On the one hand, this is due to the minimized risks of spitting or choking. Unlike traditional medications that may require swallowing with water or chewing, oral films provide a convenient and safe method of administration. With oral films, patients can simply place the thin strip on or under their tongue or to their cheek, where the film dissolves and delivers the medication.
On the other hand, the precise formulation of oral films ensures that each strip contains the exact dosage required for effective treatment, eliminating any concerns about inconsistent dosing.
5. They meet the needs of specific patient groups and medical use. Another remarkable advantage of oral films is their ability to cater to the unique needs of specific patient groups and medical conditions, including elderly people, children, and those suffering from specific diseases (e.g. neurological conditions).
Swallowing pills can often be challenging and uncomfortable for elderly patients. Oral films provide a convenient and easy-to-use alternative, as they can be used without the need for water or chewing. This makes medication administration much simpler for the elderly, ensuring that they receive the necessary treatment without any discomfort or difficulty.
Similarly, children can also benefit greatly from oral films. Administering medication to children can often be a daunting task, as they may resist swallowing pills or have difficulty doing so. With oral films, parents can simply place the thin strip on their child's tongue, under their tongue or to their cheek, allowing it to dissolve effortlessly. This eliminates any struggles or resistance from children, making the medication process much smoother and less stressful for both the child and the parent.
Oral films are helpful for specific patient groups
6. Proven tolerability and proven patient acceptance for neonates and infants
One of the most significant advantages of oral films is their proven tolerability and patient acceptance, even for the most delicate patients - neonates and infants. This is particularly crucial as medication administration in this population can be challenging due to their small size and limited ability to swallow pills or tablets.
Oral films provide a gentle and non-invasive method of drug delivery for neonates and infants. The thin strips can be easily placed on the tongue, under the tongue or to their cheek, allowing for quick absorption and onset of action. The taste and texture of oral films are carefully formulated to be palatable, ensuring that infants do not reject or resist taking their medication.
A new study reveals the accpetance of oral films in neonates and infants. You can access the article here: Acceptance in neonates and infants
7. Variety of doses with only one formulation
Furthermore, oral films offer the unique advantage of providing a wide range of doses within a single formulation. This is a significant benefit for healthcare providers, patients, and pharmaceutical companies alike.
Unlike traditional medications, which often require different formulations for different dosages, such as tablets of varying strengths or capsules with different amounts of active ingredients, oral films simplify the dosing process. With oral films, pharmaceutical companies can easily adjust the size of the strip to vary the drug load of each product (check how oral films are being manufactured in our video). This means that only one formulation is needed to provide different dosages, eliminating the need to create various formulations for different dosages.
The precise formulation of oral films allows for this flexibility in dosing, ensuring that patients receive the exact amount of medication needed for their treatment. With oral films, healthcare providers can confidently prescribe the appropriate dose, while patients can easily follow the prescribed regimen without any confusion or inconvenience.
8. Life cycle management: As innovative delivery systems oral films offer new opportunities for life cycle management
Life cycle management refers to the strategic process of maximizing the value and potential of a product throughout its entire life cycle. It involves various activities such as product development, marketing, and continuous improvement. In the case of oral films, their innovative nature opens up new avenues for life cycle management in the pharmaceutical industry.
One of the key advantages of oral films in life cycle management is their adaptability to different formulations and therapeutic areas. Pharmaceutical companies can easily reformulate existing drugs into oral film form, providing a new delivery option for patients. This allows companies to extend the lifecycle of their products by targeting new patient populations or expanding into new markets.
Furthermore, the development of oral films can also be a strategic response to patent expirations or generic competition. By reformulating a drug into an oral film, pharmaceutical companies can obtain new patents or exclusivity rights, protecting their market share and extending the commercial life of the product. This not only allows companies to maintain profitability but also ensures continued access to important medications for patients.
9. Bioavailability refers to the extent and rate at which a drug is absorbed into the bloodstream and becomes available for its intended action. One of the key advantages of oromucosal (e.g. buccal or sublingual) films is their ability to bypass the first-pass metabolism, leading to enhanced bioavailability compared to other oral dosage forms.
When a drug is taken orally with a pill, it undergoes first-pass metabolism in the liver before reaching systemic circulation. This process can significantly reduce the concentration of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) in the bloodstream, limiting its effectiveness.
However, oromucosal films offer a direct route of absorption through the mucosa, avoiding the liver's metabolic processes. The buccal mucosa, located in the inner lining of the cheek, is highly vascularized, meaning it contains a rich network of blood vessels. When a buccal film is placed in the oral cavity, the API is released and quickly absorbed through the mucosal tissues into the bloodstream. In addition, this can also mean that the required drug load in an oromucosal film can be reduced compared to a tablet/capsule, which then can further reduce side effects.
10. AdhexPharma and Labtec are trusted partners in the development and manufacturing of oral films. With our expertise, available technologies (see below) and state-of-the-art facilities, we are committed to helping pharmaceutical companies bring their innovative drug delivery systems to market.
Our team of experienced scientists and technicians work closely with clients to understand their specific needs and requirements. From formulation development to manufacturing, we ensure that every step of the process is tailored to meet the highest quality standards.
Technologies provided for contract development by AdhexPharma and Labtec, find more information here
In conclusion, oral films have revolutionized the way medication is administered, providing numerous benefits for patients, healthcare providers, and pharmaceutical companies.
The top 10 advantages discussed highlight many beneftis from the ease of use, faster onset of action up to guaranteed dosing and suitability for specific patient groups as well as opportunities for life cycle management. With their convenience, effectiveness, and potential for customization, oral films offer a promising future in the field of drug delivery.
If you are interested in exploring the opportunities of developing oral films, reach out to experts like AdhexPharma and Labtec for further guidance and collaboration. Don't miss out on the chance to be a part of this innovative drug delivery system and improve patient outcomes.