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Published: Kem. Ind. 66 (9-10) (2017) 505−518
Paper reference number: KUI-36/2016
Paper type: Review
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Application of Polymers in Pharmaceutical Industry

I. Šoljić Jerbić


Polymers and polymeric materials have been used in the pharmaceutical industry for many years and play an indispensable role as excipients in the development of the conventional dosage forms or for manufacturing various drug packaging materials. In recent years, their important application resides in the development of sophisticated drug delivery systems where the release of the drug over a longer time period is mainly controlled by degradation kinetics of the applied polymer. It is preferable that polymers introduced into the human body be biodegradable, meaning that they should eventually completely decompose to nontoxic products that can be naturally excreted from the body. In addition, they should be biocompatible, and in contact with the living organism, should not cause undesirable side effects, although their retention in the tissue could be for a longer time. Such designed complex drug delivery systems where polymers are used as functional excipients have numerous advantages, such as simplicity of administration and targeted drug delivery to the desired site, extended and controlled release, which reduces frequency of drug administration. This can consequently lead to reducing adverse side effects of administered drugs and improvement of patient compliance. There is a range of differently designed drug delivery systems and their description and mechanism of action will be presented in this paper together with the prominent role of the polymers for each particular system.

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polymers, pharmaceutical dosage forms, controlled release, hydrogels