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Advantages and Limitations of Oral Thin Films

When we talk about medical treatment, doctors and physicians only cover the initial phase of the entire process, albeit an important one. Patients, and by extension their caretakers, need to follow through to make sure that the adherence to medications is followed through.

A lot of failures in treatment are due to non-adherence of medications and that’s either because of irresponsible behavior or because of the challenges faced by the patient to follow through on the prescribed medication. In order to avoid this, pharmaceutical innovation is boosting alternative drug delivery methods to make it more convenient.

One such innovation is the Orally Soluble Film.

Forced medication can leave a patient emotionally traumatized. Orally Soluble Film dissolves immediately on contact with saliva when consumed, which is why it doesn’t need to be forced down a patient’s throat. It makes OSF the safest option for medication. Moreover, it doesn’t need water for consumption, can be carried around easily, and disintegrate in seconds.

It is also helping improve medical adherence in infants and old aged patients who find it hard to administer the drugs themselves.

Orally disintegrating tablets, in spite of being specific to dosage and easy to administer, are highly friable and liquid forms have the risk of improper dosage during administration. Orally Soluble Strips combine the advantages of both without these limitations.

However, it comes with its own advantages and limitations which is why pharmaceutical companies are investing a lot of time in research to make them more effective than they already are.

Advantages of Orally Soluble Films

Improved oral absorption

Due to their fast disintegration orally, the oral absorption of the components of the drug improves significantly. This enhances the effectiveness of the drug API, catalyzing the action of the drug.

Improved bioavailability

OSFs enable an increase in the bioavailability of the drug. This means that the amount of drug that enters blood circulation is increased.

Improved patient compliance

OSFs eliminate the various challenges that patients face when trying to administer medicines like water, chances of choking, and difficulty in carrying the medicines around. This helps in increasing the patient’s compliance with medicines.

Improved stability

Since the packaging of OSFs is intact, the stability of the medicines is properly maintained which means that the microbial, physical, and chemical properties of the medicine remain intact.

No friability loss

With the polymer structure of the films, the friability issues of the tablet form are eliminated and the whole medicine gets absorbed into the body.

Larger area for disintegration

OSFs has a larger surface area as compared to tablets and improves the disintegrating and absorption of medicine easy.

Precise dosage

Since the OSFs are produced with polymers that remain intact and can be manufactured with unit amounts of API, the accuracy of dosage increases manifolds.

Limitations of Orally Soluble Films

Drugs that irritate mucosa cannot be administered

OSFs dissolve in the mouth almost immediately which is why drug components that irritate the mucosa cannot be formulated in this form.

Increased reception to taste

Medicines taste bad and in fact, it’s one of the reasons which leads to nonadherence of medicines. The taste of the drugs is more pronounced in OSFs that makes them more bitter. However, taste-masking technologies, like that provided by ZIM laboratories, helps manufacturers make the taste appealing for the patients.

Special packaging required

In order to keep the API of the drug maintained and to check its effectiveness, these OSFs need to be packed in special sachets that are intact and do not allow the penetration of moisture into the strip. ZIM has successfully tested and tried many medicines and nutraceuticals in OSF form with different packaging methods that are proving to be quite effective.

Dosage uniformity

Achieving dosage uniformity in OSFs is a concerning challenge faced by many pharmaceutical companies when it comes to bringing various medicines into this form. Ongoing research and study will enable to overcome this challenge in the near future.

About ZIM Laboratories

ZIM is an innovative drug delivery solution provider focusing on improving patient convenience and adherence to drug intake. We offer a range of technology-based drug delivery solutions and non-infringing proprietary manufacturing processes for production and supply of innovative and differentiated generic pharmaceutical products to our customers globally. ZIM provides its customers with a comprehensive range of value-added solid dosage differentiated generic products in semi-finished and finished categories/formulations. These include granules, pellets (sustained, modified, extended-release), taste-masked powders, suspensions, tablets, capsules and its recently developed Oral Thin Films (OTF).

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