Absorbing drugs through the oral mucosa, sublingually, has numerous advantages over alternative routes such as orally or intravenously.
- Medication can be used which would normally have an adverse effect on the gastrointestinal tract, because it is absorbed through the oral mucosa, sublingually.
- Lower doses of medication can be used since the sublingual route by-passes absorption in the gastrointestinal track and metabolism in the liver.
- 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.
- 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.
- It is pain-free. The oral mucosal membranes are not disrupted or damaged.
- 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 Print this page