Don’t Like Taking Pills? Drug-Delivering Gel Goes Down Like Yogurt

Don’t Like Taking Pills? Drug-Delivering Gel Goes Down Like Yogurt

I have memories of my mother crushing up pills and mixing them into honey for me when I was young. I remember the sweet and bitter taste like it was yesterday. Like my mom, a team of researchers from MIT and Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital figured there had to be a better way to deliver medicine. So they came up with an innovative “drug-delivering gel.”

The oleogels could make it easier to get needed medications to kids.

Traverso lab

According to an MIT statement, the team set some goals for the drug delivery system. It needed to be inexpensive, palatable, stable at extreme temperatures, compatible with many different drugs and able to be administered orally or rectally. The researchers came up with an oleogel, a plant-based gel that can be made thick like yogurt or thin like syrup. Drugs are dissolved into the gel.

The team published its results in the journal Science Advances last week. The work involved testing gel formulations with trained food tasters who found that the most appealing versions were made from cottonseed oil (neutral flavor) or sesame oil (nutty flavor).

video on the oleogel discusses previous solutions to this problem, such as crushing pills, making powdered medications or developing water-based formulations. 

The new gel works with medications that aren’t water-soluble. “This enables the formulation of drugs that were not available in semi-solid or liquid dosage forms and allows patients, especially children, to more easily take their medicine,” pharmaceutical scientist and lead author Ameya Kirtane said in a Brigham statement last week.  

Tests with pigs showed the gels were effective in delivering proper doses of medications. To make dosing for children easier, the researchers also developed a multi-compartment squeezable dispenser that could be used to measure out the correct dose based on the patient’s weight. 

The gel was developed with kids in mind, but it could have wider applications. As an adult, I still hate swallowing pills. I keep a big glass of water on standby, eat crackers or bread to get them down and completely avoid large pills if I can. So I’m cheering on the research team in its upcoming human clinical trials. 

“This platform will change our capacity for what we can do for kids, and also for adults who have difficulty receiving medication,” said study co-author Giovanni Traverso, a biomedical engineer with MIT and gastroenterologist with Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “Given the simplicity of the system and its low cost, it could have a tremendous impact on making it easier for patients to take medications.”   

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Author: admin