Novel methods of drug administration for the treatment and care of older patients

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The number of older people globally is increasing, contributing to a growing burden of morbidity and mortality. With this shift in population demographic, comes a new challenge in terms of appropriate healthcare for the over 65 years age group. As medication is the principal therapeutic intervention, it is essential that it be fully optimised, to meet the needs of this heterogeneous population. The most common routes of drug administration are oral and injectable, which may display some limitations for older people, in cases of dysphagia or frailty for example. This review considers alternative methods of drug delivery to the norm, specifically discussing the nasal, pulmonary and transdermal routes, as well as novel orally disintegrating tablets. The changing physiology as ageing occurs must be considered in the development of novel drug delivery devices. This review considers the various aspects of ageing that will influence future drug formulation design and development.

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