Targeting the brain via nasal administration of drugs has been studied frequently over the last few years. In this study, a suitable gel formulation was designed to provide the absorption of a highly lipophilic drug through nasal mucosa. For this purpose, carbamazepine was chosen as the model drug. Hypromellose and Carbopol were used as mucoadhesive polymers in the formulation to increase the residence time of the gel on the mucosa. The objective of this study was to confirm the existence of a transport pathway for a drug (carbamazepine) to the brain directly from the nasal cavity, by comparing the concentration of drug in the brain after intranasal (i.n.), intravenous (i.v.), and oral (p.o.) administration. A statistically significant high level of the drug was found in the brain following intranasal administration compared with the intravenous and oral routes. These findings suggested the existence of a direct transport pathway for carbamazepine from the nasal cavity to the brain. This pathway may represent a new delivery route to the brain and central nervous system of such drugs which are needed in high and rapid concentration in the brain, especially in emergencies.
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