In the last decade, polymer based technologies have found wide biomedical applications. Polymers, whether synthetic (e.g. polylactide-co-glycolide or PLG) or natural (e.g. alginate, chitosan etc.), have the property of encapsulating a diverse range of molecules of biological interest and bear distinct therapeutic advantages such as controlled release of drugs, protection against the premature degradation of drugs and reduction in drug toxicity. These are important considerations in the long-duration treatment of chronic infectious diseases such as tuberculosis in which patient noncompliance is the major obstacle to successful chemotherapy. Antitubercular drugs, singly or in combination, have been encapsulated in polymers to provide controlled drug release and the system also offers the flexibility of selecting various routes of administration such as oral, subcutaneous and aerosol. The present review highlights the approaches towards the preparation of polymeric antitubercular drug delivery systems, emphasizing how the route of administration may influence drug bioavailability as well as the chemotherapeutic efficacy. In addition, the pros and cons of the various delivery systems are also discussed.
Keywords: tuberculosis, polymers, antitubercular drugs, poly (dl-iactide-co-glycolide), alginate
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