Multiple-Unit Pellet Systems: Production and Applications as Advanced Drug Delivery Systems
Background and Objective: Single-unit solid oral dosage forms such as tablets and capsules are considered the most common and acceptable form of immediate release systemic drug delivery systems. On the other hand, multiple-unit pellet systems (MUPS) have in recent years become an important dosage form that offers various advantages over conventional single-unit solid oral dosage forms.
Discussion: These advantages include, amongst others, reduced risk of local irritation and toxicity, more predictable bioavailability, reduced likelihood of dose dumping and minimised fluctuations in the plasma concentration of the drug. MUPS comprise of relatively small uncoated or coated spherical particles (pellets or beads) compressed into tablets (MUPS tablets) or filled into hard gelatine capsules (MUPS capsules).
Conclusion: Application of MUPS technology has led to the successful formulation of various marketed products such as omeprazole in Losec® MUPS tablets, which has resulted in increased drug bioavailability and improved pharmacological response. Another application of MUPS technology is controlled drug release, for example theophylline MUPS capsules (Elixophyline®), which offer sustained drug release.
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