Buccal & Sublingual Absorption: The Two Different Methods of Drug Delivery System

Medications are usually delivered in the mouth cavity to address local conditions, including infections and ulcers, and aid in medication absorption. The sublingual and buccal mucosal regions, in particular, are well vascularized and suitable for systemic pharmaceutical administration.

What is Buccal & Sublingual Absorption?

Medicine administration via buccal and sublingual absorption are two alternative methods of oral drug delivery system. To administer a medication sublingually, you place it under your tongue so it may disintegrate there and be absorbed into your bloodstream. In a buccal delivery system, the medicine is placed between your gums and cheeks where it dissolves and is taken into your bloodstream. There is little doubt that they are an effective alternative to the usual oral route, especially when rapid action is needed. Venous drainage to the superior vena cava allows drugs to enter the systemic circulation quickly and directly. Patients with swallowing problems and medicines that undergo significant hepatic clearance or degradation can benefit from these devices. Solid dosage forms such as wafers, tablets, oral thin films, patches, liquid dosage forms like drops and sprays, and semi-solid dosage forms are typically used for drug administration, sublingually and buccally. Physiological variables can limit the interaction of the formulation with the mucosa, resulting in unpredictable medication absorption in traditional dose forms.

The Pros and Cons of Buccal & Sublingual Absorption:


  • Buccal or Sublingual absorption have their own perks. When you need the drug to act immediately, such as during a heart attack, this kind of administration can be helpful since it absorbs fast.
  • They also don't go through the digestive system; therefore, they don't go through the liver.
  • Taking a lesser dose and getting the same outcomes is possible.
  • Patients don't have to ingest the medication.
  • People who have difficulty swallowing tablets may find it simpler to take drugs absorbed under the tongue or between the gum and cheek.

Cons:But, patients must consider the fact that sublingual and buccal medicines come with some drawbacks as well. Whether they eat, drink, or smoke, it can all impact how well the medication is absorbed. These forms do not function for medicines that need to be digested slowly by your system, such as extended-release formulations. It is possible that the medication will aggravate any open sores in your mouth, as well. This kind of drug delivery system can prove to be frisky; hence it is advised to discuss with a trusted physician. Buccal and sublingual medication distribution can be affected by saliva flow by changing the breakdown and dissolving rate of the formulation. The absorption of drugs can be harmed by dry mouth, for example. When saliva flow is high, the medication might be ingested before it is absorbed.

Advances in The Two Different Methods of Drug Delivery System

To enhance medication retention and absorption in the buccal and sublingual areas, formulations have been improved.Patients who have difficulty swallowing have found oral thin films to be quite helpful since medicines may be administered without the need to chew or swallow. This includes youngsters, people who suffer from nausea, and the aging population. One of the main advantages of this drug delivery method is the ease with which it may be administered. It's nearly hard to refuse oral thin films since they dissolve so quickly. Hence, it's a viable choice for people who have trouble consuming a lot of pills or capsules.However, successfully developing an oral thin film drug delivery system is a herculean endeavor. A high degree of knowledge is required which is something that most pharmaceutical firms do not have in-house. As a result, many pharmaceutical companies prefer to cooperate with a full-service CDMO for the development of OTF medications. But drug developers tend to underestimate the difficulties of developing medicine for sublingual or buccal film administration.Other formulations for sublingual and buccal absorption are being developed. For example, drowsiness, sleeplessness, angina, pain, and smoking cessation are among the indications that benefit from a quicker start of the action. The therapeutic index and duration of use of the medicines vary, indicating the possibility of employing pharmaceuticals with a narrow therapeutic index and for long-term therapy. Additionally, allergen extracts and bacterial lysate with polyvalent mechanical properties have entered the market to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, i.e., COPD and allergic rhinitis.Only a few novel dosage forms for sublingual and buccal medication administration have made it to the clinical development stages. As a result, permeability enhancers or mucoadhesive components have been included in traditional dose formulations. Physical variables (such as saliva and swallowing) impact conventional-dose forms in a way that reduces the formulation's mucosal contact, leading to unpredictable medication absorption. Sublingual and buccal epithelium's multicellular thickness and stratified structure can also contribute to decreased medication absorption.


If you're looking for a systemic medication delivery method, sublingual and buccal routes are ideal. There is little doubt that they are an effective alternative to the usual oral way, especially when rapid action is needed. These devices help patients who have trouble swallowing or take medicines that are cleared quickly by the liver. Most medication formulation improvements have been made at the laboratory level. Despite considerable advancements being reported, a few have made it to clinical trials, notably in improving retention and absorption in the buccal and sublingual areas.

About ZIM Laboratories

ZIM Labs 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 the production and supply of innovative and differentiated generic pharmaceutical products to our customers globally. At ZIM Labs we provide our customers 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 recently developed Oral Thin Films (OTF).


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