Controlled delivery of naltrexone by an intraoral device: In vivo study on human subjects


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Abstract

Naltrexone is widely used in the treatment of opiate addiction but its current peroral administration is characterized by low bioavailability with various side effects. The development of a long-acting transbuccal delivery device (IntelliDrug) for NLX may be useful to improve patient compliance and the therapy effectiveness.The aims of the study are (a) to test basic safety and effectiveness of controlled transbuccal drug delivery on human subjects; (b) to compare NLX bioavailability following transbuccal delivery vs per os conventional delivery; and (c) to test the hypothesis that transbuccal delivery is more efficient than the conventional route. In this randomized cross-over pilot study, 12 healthy subjects received in a different order 2 types of NLX administration, per os or transbuccal delivery, based on which group they were randomized to. For per os administration 50 mg NLX tablets were used, while for transbuccal administration, a NLX-loaded prototype of the IntelliDrug device was fixed on patients’ dental arch. Serial blood samples were drawn and analysed for the NLX concentration. The IntelliDrug prototype functioned properly and it did not exert any adverse side-effect. The transbuccal route resulted in administration efficiency 4–17 times higher than conventional per os route. Transbuccal delivery of NLX appears to be a more efficient drug administration route compared to peroral one. It allows to reach a given therapeutic blood level using a small drug dose.

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