“Enteric coatings are used to reduce gastrointestinal side effects and control the release properties of oral medications.” – Niwa, et al. Pharm Res. 2014; 31: 2140
There are many drug-delivery techniques, and each one has its strengths. One technique is enteric coating. Enteric coating is best for use with active ingredients that treat gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome.
Ulcers are a condition that can benefit from having an enteric coating on the active ingredient. “Ulcerative colitis is the chronic relapsing multifactorial gastrointestinal inflammatory bowel disease, which is characterized by bloody or mucus diarrhea, tenesmus, bowel dystension, anemia,” write the authors of a 2016 review article. They also write that the challenge in treating the disease is reducing drug-related adverse events while maintaining targeted drug delivery. Enteric coating prevents APIs from releasing in the stomach, which facilitates delivery to the intestines and reduces irritation.
Crohn’s disease is another condition that can benefit from enteric coating for delivery of the active ingredient. In a 2013 study, existing oral formulations of Budesonide had “low efficacy because of the premature drug release in the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract.” However, the study found that enteric-coated sustained-release pellets of the drug did not release the drug prematurely, and the drug remained stable. A more recent 2017 study found the same drug well tolerated by children with Crohn’s disease when the drug has an enteric coating.
Enteric coating can also improve treatments for irritable bowel syndrome. For example, a 2017 study in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences coated lovastatin with two different enteric polymers. The authors concluded that the capsules “show promise in treating IBS-C,” or irritable bowel syndrome with constipation.
Enteric coatings enable the treatment of some GI disorders, such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome. Orbis Biosciences® uses its Precision Particle FabricationTM technology’s award-winning enteric platform to create drug products and drug product intermediates with enteric coating in a single step. Orbis understands the importance of using the right technique for each indication.