Polysaccharide rich gums and mucilages are produced by different natural sources such as plants, animals
and microbial organisms to fulfil structural and physiological functions. Their diverse structural compositions
with a broad range of physicochemical properties make them useful for inclusion in dosage forms for different purposes
such as to improve manufacturing processes and/or to facilitate drug delivery. A number of natural gums and
mucilages have been investigated for inclusion in pharmaceutical formulations for a variety of reasons. The search
for new excipients continues to be an active topic in dosage form design and drug delivery research. The aim of
this review article is to give an overview of the chemical nature of natural gums and mucilages and to discuss their
applications in the formulation of pharmaceutical dosage forms. Special emphasis will be placed on the use of
gums and mucilages in novel drug delivery systems, such as modified release dosage forms and delivery systems
that target specific sites of delivery.
Keywords: Drug delivery systems, gum, modified release dosage forms, mucilage, pharmaceutical excipients.
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