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Brazilian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences

On-line version ISSN 2175-9790


SILVA, Gisele Rodrigues da et al. Implants as drug delivery devices for the treatment of eye diseases. Braz. J. Pharm. Sci. [online]. 2010, vol.46, n.3, pp.585-595. ISSN 2175-9790.

The treatment of diseases affecting the posterior segment of the eye is limited by the difficulty in transporting effective doses of drugs to the vitreous, retina, and choroid. Topically applied drugs are poorly absorbed due to the low permeability of the external ocular tissues and tearing. The blood-retina barrier limits drug diffusion from the systemic blood to the posterior segment, thus high doses of drug are needed to maintain therapeutic levels. In addition, systemic side effects are common. Intraocular injections could be an alternative, but the fast flowing blood supply in this region, associated with rapid clearance rates, causes drug concentration to quickly fall below therapeutic levels. To obtain therapeutic levels over longer time periods, polymeric sustained-drug release systems implanted within the vitreous are being studied for the treatment of vitreoretinal disorders. These systems are prepared using different kinds of biodegradable or non-biodegradable polymers. This review aims to demonstrate the main characteristics of these drug delivery implants and their potential for clinical application.

Keywords : Implants [biodegradation]; Drugs [delivery systems]; Drugs [prolonged delivery systems]; Pharmaceutical technology.

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