Sublingual delivery

Absorbing drugs through the oral mucosa, sublingually, has numerous advantages over alternative routes such as orally or intravenously.

  1. Medication can be used which would normally have an adverse effect on the gastrointestinal tract, because it is absorbed through the oral mucosa, sublingually.
  2. Lower doses of medication can be used since the sublingual route by-passes absorption in the gastrointestinal track and metabolism in the liver.
  3. A faster onset of action results because the medication enters the blood stream directly through the mucosal membranes, resulting in elevated blood drug concentrations (higher bioavailability). A faster onset of action is particularly beneficial in the treatment of acute conditions such as pain, erectile dysfunction, nausea or an allergic reaction.
  4. The medication is easy to administer and provides more accurate dosing for patients who have difficulty in swallowing oral medication, for example, the young and the elderly* or those who cannot co-operate through lack of capacity.
  5. It is pain-free. The oral mucosal membranes are not disrupted or damaged.
  6. Drinking water is not needed.

These advantages result in many benefits for patients: fewer side effects, enhanced efficacy, improved compliance and the ability to self-medicate, at home. And, as a result, healthcare costs are reduced.

*There may be particular advantages in treating elderly patients for whom dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing occurs with greater frequency.

Updated: 13/7/14

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