Expert opinion on drug delivery vol:3 issue:1 pages:111-125
Oral drug delivery to the colon has attracted significant attention during the past 20 years. Colon targeting is recognised to have several therapeutic advantages, such as the oral delivery of drugs that are destroyed by the stomach acid and/or metabolised by pancreatic enzymes. Sustained colonic release of drugs can be useful in the treatment of nocturnal asthma, angina and arthritis. Local treatment of colonic pathologies, such as ulcerative colitis, colorectal cancer and Crohn's disease, is more effective with the delivery of drugs to the affected area. Likewise, colonic delivery of vermicides and colonic diagnostic agents requires smaller doses. This article aims to provide an insight into the design and manufacturing considerations, and an evaluation of colonic drug delivery systems in order to understand why there are still few delivery technologies that have reached the market, despite intensive research in this field. For this purpose, various approaches to colon-specific drug delivery are discussed.