Orally disintegrating systems have carved a niche amongst the oral drug delivery systems due to the highest component of compliance they enjoy in patients especially the geriatrics and pediatrics. In addition, patients suffering from dysphagia, motion sickness, repeated emesis and mental disorders prefer these medications because they cannot swallow large quantity of water. Further, drugs exhibiting satisfactory absorption from the oral mucosa or intended for immediate pharmacological action can be advantageously formulated in these dosage forms. However, the requirements of formulating these dosage forms with mechanical strength sufficient to with stand the rigors of handling and capable of disintegrating within a few seconds on contact with saliva are inextricable. Therefore, research in developing orally disintegrating systems has been aimed at investigating different excipients as well as techniques to meet these challenges. A variety of dosage forms like tablets, films, wafers, chewing gums, microparticles, nanoparticles etc. have been developed for enhancing the performance attributes in the orally disintegrating systems. Advancements in the technology arena for manufacturing these systems include the use of freeze drying, cotton candy, melt extrusion, sublimation, direct compression besides the classical wet granulation processes. Taste masking of active ingredients becomes essential in these systems because the drug is entirely released in the mouth. Fluid bed coating, agglomeration, pelletization and infusion methods have proven useful for this purpose. It is important to note that although, freeze dried and effervescent disintegrating systems rapidly disintegrate in contact with fluids, they do not generally exhibit the required mechanical strength. Similarly, the candy process cannot be used for thermolabile drugs. In the light of the paradoxical nature of the attributes desired in orally disintegrating systems (high mechanical strength and rapid disintegration), it becomes essential to study the innovations in this field and understand the intricacies of the different processes used for manufacturing these systems. This article attempts at discussing the patents relating to orally disintegrating systems with respect to the use of different formulation ingredients and technologies.
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