Disease-controlling drugs can be absorbed in the body more efficiently and without food, in a new development by scientists.
Researchers from Monash University in collaboration with the University of South Australia showed tablets and capsules could be made to imitate the effect of food when the medication reached the stomach or intestines, using nanotechnology research.
The research, detailed in international journal Angewandte Chemie, could allow for adjustments in medicated dosages ensuring people get the most effective and efficient delivery of drugs for the control of pain, inflammation and various other conditions.
Associate Professor Ben Boyd, from the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, said the new formulation enabled more of the drug to enter the blood stream and should lead to more reliable and predictable oral medications.
“Prior to this development, some medications needed to be taken with food because the fats in food help the body to dissolve the drug so that it can be absorbed,” Associate Professor Boyd said.
“The problem is that different diets across different cultures have widely varying fat content, which can lead to wide variation in the effect of food. As a result this can cause variable effects of the drug.
”Capsules containing oils have been one approach to get around this, but they are difficult to manufacture and have other problems that meant only a few products have used this approach.
“The new approach in our research takes advantage of the effect of small particles that allow the drug to stay dissolved and further boost the amount and consistency of drug absorption.”
The technology is now available to drug manufacturers, however comprehensive clinical trials are still required before approval.