Transdermal delivery of heparin: Physical enhancement techniques

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Abstract

Thromboembolic complications are the most common preventable cause of mortality and morbidity in trauma patients. Thrombosis is also the common cause of ischemic heart disease (acute coronary syndrome), stroke, and venous thromboembolism. Heparin, as a potent anticoagulant, has been used in clinical practice for more than five decades and remains the major medicine for the prevention and treatment of venous thromboembolism. However it binds to the endothelium and has a high affinity for plasma proteins resulting in a short half-life and unpredictable bioavailability. Transdermal drug delivery can address the problems of short half-life and unpredictable bioavailability. Other advantages of transdermal drug delivery include convenience, improved patient compliance, prompt termination of dosing and avoidance of the first-pass effect. This review focuses on different approaches used for transdermal delivery of heparin.

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