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An overview of skin penetration enhancers: penetration enhancing activity, skin irritation potential and mechanism of action

Songklanakarin Journal of Science and Technology (SJST). 2009;31(3):299-321

 

Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Songklanakarin Journal of Science and Technology (SJST)

ISSN: 0125-3395 (Print)

Publisher: Prince of Songkla University

Society/Institution: Prince of Songkla University, Research and Development Office

LCC Subject Category: Technology: Technology (General) | Science: Science (General)

Country of publisher: Thailand

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF

 

AUTHORS


Sarunyoo Songkro

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 25 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text

Transdermal drug delivery has attracted considerable attention over the past 2-3 decades in regard of its many potentialadvantages. However, the role of the skin as a protective barrier renders skin absorption of most drugs problematic. Therefore,skin penetration enhancers are frequently used in the field of transdermal drug delivery in order to reversibly reduce thebarrier function of the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of the skin. To date, a wide range of chemical compounds havebeen shown to enhance the skin penetration of therapeutic drugs. This review presents a critical account of the most commonlyused chemical penetration enhancers (fatty acids and surfactants), and some newer classes of chemical enhancers (terpenes,polymers, monoolein, oxazolidinones), with emphasis on their efficacy, mechanism of action, and skin irritation potential. Thisreview also discusses the traditional and more recently developed methods for the screening and evaluation of chemical penetration enhancers, and addresses the continuing problems in the rational selection of a chemical penetration enhancer for a specific drug to be delivered via the transdermal route.