During the past 20 years, advances in drug formulations and innovative routes of administration have been
made. The understanding of drug transport across tissues has increased. The administration of drug by transmucosal routes
offers the advantage of being a relatively painless administration and has the potential for greater flexibility in a variety of
clinical situations. The transmucosal route includes oral, nasal, vaginal, and urethral and presents a challenge in the field
of novel drug delivery technology. The oral transmucosal delivery, especially the buccal and sublingual routes have been
explored successfully for a number of drugs in the last few decades with novel approaches emerging continuously. The
transmucosal membranes are relatively permeable, have a rich blood flow and hence allow the rapid uptake of a drug into
systemic circulation to avoid first pass metabolism. This route of drug delivery offers a number of benefits over other drug
delivery approaches and allows drugs to circumvent some of the body’s natural defense mechanisms like first pass metabolism,
harsh stomach environment etc. Several approaches have been used like drug delivery through the nasal route by
using sprays, pumps and gels while the mucoadhesive, quick dissolve tablets and solid lozenge formulations are for the
oral mucosal route. Also, vaginal or urethral routes can be explored using mucoadhesive suppositories, in-situ gel and
foam etc. The purpose of this review is to compile the basic approach studies by different research groups in the last few
Bioadhesive polymer, drug delivery, mucoadhesion, transmucosal.
Oriental College of Pharmacy, Secctor-2, Sanpada, Navi Mumbai-400705, Maharastra, India.