Parenteral drug administration, in which a drug is introduced directly across the body’s barrier defenses into the systemic circulation or some other tissue space, immediately overcomes barriers that can limit the effectiveness of orally administered drugs.” – Principles of Pharmacology: The Pathophysiologic Basis of Drug Therapy. Edited by David E. Golan, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2008

Peanut butter and jelly, peas and carrots, Kirk and Spock – all are common examples of great combinations. A great pairing is also important when it comes to parenteral drug delivery and the medications delivered via this route. Drugs that are well-suited for parenteral drug delivery are those that are not bioavailable when administered orally, that are destroyed by digestive enzymes or that are irritating when delivered via other routes of administration.

Some drugs are not effective when taken orally. Oral drug delivery of such drugs can negatively affect drug absorption due to first pass metabolism and the acidic secretions of digestive enzymes. These drugs are good candidates for parenteral drug delivery, which allows the drugs to bypass the GI tract and instead go directly into the circulatory system. For example, in a 2008 article, Shaji and Patole write, “Injections remained the most common means for administering therapeutic proteins and peptides because of their poor oral bioavailability.”

Drugs that are too toxic or irritating for a physician to administer through other drug delivery methods also are well-suited for parenteral drug delivery. Some medications, such as chemotherapy, can irritate the digestive system and other tissues. It is safer and more effective to deliver such toxic and irritating drugs parenterally.

Parenteral drug delivery is a good method of administration for drugs that are ineffective if taken orally, that are destroyed by digestive enzymes or that are too irritating for other routes of administration. Orbis Biosciences® has developed the StratumTM drug delivery platform for the parenteral delivery of such drugs. The platform delivers extended and pulse release injectable products for optimized formulations that are more patient-friendly.