Targeting drugs to the gastrointestinal tract has been and continues to be an active area of research. Guttargeting
is an effective means of increasing the local concentration of active substance at the desired site of action while
minimizing concentrations elsewhere in the body that could lead to unwanted side-effects. Several approaches to intestinal
targeting exist. Physicochemical property manipulation can drive molecules to large, polar, low absorption space or alternatively
to lipophilic, high clearance space in order to minimize systemic exposure. Design of compounds that are substrates
for transporters within the gastrointestinal tract, either uptake or efflux, or at the hepato-biliary interface, may help
to increase intestinal concentration. Prodrug strategies have been shown to be effective particularly for colon targeting,
and several different technology formulation approaches are currently being researched. This review provides examples of
various approaches to intestinal targeting, and discusses challenges and areas in need of future scientific advances.
Keywords: Drug, Gut, Intestine, Non-systemic, Prodrug, Soft drug, Targeting, Transporter.
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