CURRENT STRATEGIES IN HERBAL DRUG DELIVERY FOR ARTHRITIS: AN OVERVIEWAbstract
Arthritis is still a challenge for medical research. Pharmaceutical research has resulted in several new approaches for treatment/management of arthritis including drugs like the biologic disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Several disadvantages like serious side effects, high costs and requirement of parenteral administration still invite more research in this area to provide a convenient, affordable therapy with lesser or no side effects. Traditionally used herbal medicines, due to their anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties, have potential to be a therapy of choice for arthritis patients and are now extensively being studied. Although a number of these medicines are being used traditionally for their therapeutic activity, development of their novel drug delivery systems was not attractive to the scientists due to insufficient knowledge about their exact mechanism of action and difficulties in processing, standardising, extracting and identification of active constituents. Current research demonstrates that the effectiveness and bioavailability of herbal actives can be improved by understanding of exact mechanism of action and by formulating them into novel technologies like liposomes, phytosomes and transdermal drug delivery. The present review focuses on herbal medicines for arthritis along with various strategies adopted by scientists so as to improve the bioavailability, stability and to reduce the side effects of these medicines so as to provide consistently effective alternative medication for arthritis. The strategies include understanding mechanisms of their action, enhancing solubilities of poorly soluble actives and developing novel drug delivery systems of these herbal medicines.
Sunita Y. Ranade* and Ram S. Gaud
Shobhaben Pratapbhai Patel School of Pharmacy and Technology Management, SVKM’s Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Vile Parle (West), Mumbai – 400 056, Maharashtra, India
26 May, 2013
17 July, 2013
13 September, 2013
01 October, 2013