Intranasal delivery of antipsychotic drugs
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Antipsychotic drugs are used to treat psychotic disorders that afflict millions globally and cause tremendous emotional, economic and healthcare burdens. However, the potential of intranasal delivery to improve brain-specific targeting remains unrealized. In this article, we review the mechanisms and methods used for brain targeting via the intranasal (IN) route as well as the potential advantages of improving this type of delivery. We extensively review experimental studies relevant to intranasal delivery of therapeutic agents for the treatment of psychosis and mental illnesses. We also review clinical studies in which intranasal delivery of peptides, like oxytocin (7 studies) and desmopressin (1), were used as an adjuvant to antipsychotic treatment with promising results. Experimental animal studies (17) investigating intranasal delivery of mainstream antipsychotic drugs have revealed successful targeting to the brain as suggested by pharmacokinetic parameters and behavioral effects. To improve delivery to the brain, nanotechnology-based carriers like nanoparticles and nanoemulsions have been used in several studies. However, human studies assessing intranasal delivery of mainstream antipsychotic drugs are lacking, and the potential toxicity of nanoformulations used in animal studies has not been explored. A brief discussion of future directions anticipates that if limitations of low aqueous solubility of antipsychotic drugs can be overcome and non-toxic formulations used, IN delivery (particularly targeting specific tissues within the brain) will gain more importance moving forward given the inherent benefits of IN delivery in comparison to other methods.
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