Are you currently taking particular medications to relieve pain? While using the drugs, do you often feel the side effects such as chest palpitations or excessive sweaty palms? Side effects always make people afraid of taking certain drugs. However, they need drugs to help relieve pain or reduce the harmful effects of body cells that are infected with germs.
Some drug manufacturers are starting to use suitable polymers to reduce drug side effects. This polymer acts as a drug release controller that can be eroded slowly on its surface so that the drug can reach its target and doesn’t deliver side effects to body cells.
- 1 Controlled Release System
- 2 Polymers in Controlled Drug Release
- 3 The Importance of the pH-Sensitive Nature of the Polymer
- 4 Temperature Sensitive Polymer
- 5 Enzymes That Trigger Polymer Changes
Controlled Release System
In the application of drugs to a disease, there are two types of controlled release or drug delivery systems. There is a delayed-release system and a sustained-release system. In the delayed-release system, the drug will be released after a period of lag in the sensitivity of the system to the target organ. Hard and soft gelatin capsules are examples of this delayed release.
Meanwhile, in sustained release, a single unit dose can release some drugs immediately after use. Subsequently, the therapeutic effect will be gradual and extended usually to 12 hours with constant release.
A characteristic of the controlled release system is the coating using a polymer. This polymer will be eroded slowly to release the drug in a controlled way. A polymer as a drug release controller must be biocompatible, biodegradable, and non-toxic to the body.
Polymers in Controlled Drug Release
The presence of polymer as a drug release controller is very important. The purpose of a controlled release system is to reduce the frequency of drug dosing, reduce drug side effects, and maintain stability during drug delivery. The polymer used can be a natural polymer or a synthetic polymer. The main thing is that the polymer must be pH sensitive, thermosensitive, and enzyme-triggered. The polymer will be eroded little by little to control drug release.
The Importance of the pH-Sensitive Nature of the Polymer
A polymer as a drug release controller must be sensitive to pH. This polymer material will show a response to changes in the pH of the medium by varying the shape of the surface. The pH of a target area will greatly affect the polymer dimensions during drug release.
Sometimes the eroded polymer can collapse, shrink, or swell according to its pH value.
Temperature Sensitive Polymer
This type of polymer is very responsive to stimulation-like temperatures. A research solution in the form of a mixture shows a temperature-sensitive polymer. The polymer can change drastically at a certain temperature. Sometimes the polymer forms a precipitate with only a slight temperature change. Another day, the polymer swells to form a gel. This condition makes it easier for the drug used to enter by diffusion.
Enzymes That Trigger Polymer Changes
The polymer as a drug release controller actually can be easily triggered by enzymes so that the polymer changes color. The color change is similar to the mimicry process in chameleons. The color changes from green to blue. The search for new drugs is also easy to obtain with the enzyme activity of this polymer.
The biocompatibility of polymers is the compatibility to exposure and body fluids. Natural and artificial polymers used as drug release controllers should have this property. This suitability can improve any bodily function, measure, treat and replace tissue organs.
In addition to carrying out controlled drug delivery, experts also use biocompatible polymers for tissue scaffolding, wound fabrication, implants, bone fillings, artificial organ transplants, and others.
This polymer won’t bring the side effects that make people give up using the particular drug. Biocompatible polymers that often contribute to biomedical applications include cellulose, chitosan, and polylactic acid.
Cellulose in Biomedicine
Biomedicine will always be related to cellulose. Cellulose is a polymer that functions as a drug release controller. Ethylcellulose is its derivative which is an insoluble polymer and is used as a slow-release preparation of analgesic drugs. This medicinal cellulose preparation uses the direct impression method with three concentration formulas of ethyl cellulose.
The greater concentration of ethyl cellulose used, the drug tablets will be stronger with a longer disintegration time. Cellulose is easy to apply in various pharmaceutical fields compared to using natural polymers which are often difficult to find in the market.
Just like what we always find in biomedicine. Biomedicine includes allopathic medicine, mainstream medicine, orthodox medicine, conventional medicine, and Western medicine. It exists within the health system where doctors, nurses, and pharmacists are licensed to treat symptoms and treat diseases with approved drugs and methods.
Biomedicine treatment also adheres to a hydrogel delivery system which is a drug release controller. Hydrogels have spatial and temporal control over the containment of various therapeutic agents, small molecule drugs, and macromolecular drugs. Hydrogels can protect unstable drugs from degradation.
A German doctor, Samuel Hahnemann created the word “allopathic” which comes from the Greek “allos” which means “opposite” and “pathos” which means “to suffer”. allopathic medicine refers to treating the symptoms of a disease with its opposite as when we take laxatives to treat constipation disorders in the body. The rhythm of biomedical care or treatment is carried out through the following stages:
- Treatment includes focusing on reducing symptoms associated with psychological disorders. The procedures used are usually electroconvulsive treatment, psycho-surgery, and drug therapy.
- The operation, including combination therapy or multimodal analgesia for appropriate postoperative pain control.
- Radiation with liposomes that have sustained or controlled release, superior therapeutic effects, site targeting capabilities, lower toxic side effects, and protection of drugs from degradations and clearance.
- Therapy such as cell therapy for cancer patients with nanomedicine NP. This medicine can drug release controller and high specificity.
- Other procedures like traditional medicine like meditation, yoga, and heart exercises. Sometimes consulting a psychologist and doing pleasant things are also part of the treatment.
The doctor in charge of allopathic medicine can prescribe several medications for the patient’s needs such as:
- Estrogen for the development and growth of female sexual characteristics and reproductive processes. Men also need this hormone in minimal amounts.
- Testosterone helps men influence their build muscle mass, sex characteristics, libido, and energy levels.
- Thyroid hormone (in hypothyroidism).
- Insulin (in diabetes).
The Counter Drugs
- Cough suppressant.
- Muscle softener.
- Sore throat medicine.
- Antibiotic ointment.
- Pain relievers (aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen).
Medicine for Infectious Diseases
- Blood pressure medications (beta blockers, ACE inhibitors, diuretics, and calcium channel blockers).
- Migraine medications (trypsin, ergotamine, and antinausea drugs).
- Antibiotics (amoxicillin, augmentin, penicillin, and vancomycin).
- Diabetes medications (DPP-4 inhibitors, metformin, thiazolidinediones, and sitagliptin).
- Antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent infection after cuts, very deep wounds, and surgery.
- Educational programs to prevent the development of health problems like diabetes and cancer.
- Enhancements to prevent serious illness in infants, kids, and adults.
- Prediabetes treatment to help prevent diabetes dietary and exercise to help with serious complications in stroke and heart disease.
Hopefully, this review of drug release controls can bring great benefits to all of us.