Drug Delivery: Topical and Transdermal Routes

Authored by: Kenneth A. Walters

Encyclopedia of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology

Print publication date:  July  2013
Online publication date:  July  2013

Print ISBN: 9781841848198
eBook ISBN: 9781351124874
Adobe ISBN:


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Over the past 3 decades there have been significant advances in the science of dermal and transdermal drug delivery. Much of this research has been reviewed and published elsewhere (1-9). This chapter, therefore, will concentrate on other innovations and research directions. The author recognizes that the review will not be exhaustive and apologizes unreservedly for any omissions, either deliberate or accidental. Thus, the reader interested in the developments in physical methods of skin permeation enhancement, such as iontophoresis, electroporation, and sonophoresis, is directed to the excellent reviews of Banga (5), Lai and Roberts (10), and Kost et al. (11), and the research papers of Guy et al. (12), Ilic et al. (13), and Lombry et al. (14). Likewise, detailed descriptions of the formulations used in dermal and transdermal drug delivery will be omitted because they are fully discussed elsewhere (4). Mathematical aspects of percutaneous absorption and its prediction will be briefly mentioned but readers wishing to delve into the complexities of this subject should consult the detailed analyses of Pugh et al. (15) and Roberts et al. (16). This chapter will concentrate on recent developments in our understanding of the skin barrier and the novel chemical methodologies used to reduce barrier function. Technologies that may be useful in reducing adverse local reactions, often associated with dermal and transdermal drug delivery, will be discussed. There will be a brief review on innovative drug delivery systems. Finally, the recent regulatory initiatives in dermatological therapy will be described.

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