Oral Transmucosal

The best drugs for oral transmucosal administration are those that do not taste bad, and which have high potency. For example, among opioids, the two drugs that have been successfully developed using this type of formulation are buprenorphine and fentanyl. Formulations vary, but include sublingual pellets, chewable gums, and solid formulations that are held on a stick, somewhat like a lollipop. Most wafer formulations dissolve in the mouth and are actually converted into a solution for swallowing and gastrointestinal absorption (e.g. rizatriptan wafer). Benzocaine lozenges are intended for the same purpose but to dissolve more slowly, thus bathing the oesophagus as a symptomatic treatment (e.g. for radiation oesophagitis); a similar approach is used with anti-fungal drugs.

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