Patients with diabetes, Crohn's disease, bowel cancer, constipation and other conditions may soon be able to take their medication orally instead of using injections.Scientists in India have developed a new oral gel that is able to deliver drugs to manage diseases that often require an injection such as ulcerative colitis and some infections.
The new gel can also prevent problems caused by other medications. While other drugs can sometimes be toxic and ineffective, the gel gives a targeted, controlled release of the medication.The hydrogel system has been designed so that when it's swallowed, it's protected from stomach acid. When the drug passes through the stomach, it retains the majority of the medication by being protected from stomach acids. More than half of the medication is released where it is needed -- further down the gastrointestinal tract in the colon.
Researchers put vitamin B2 in the hydrogel instead of a drug and studied its release in conditions simulating a human body. However they say the next step is to conduct in vivo studies of the hydrogel system so it can be modified to produce oral pills.