Aim: The manuscript aims to describe the techniques of modification of gums and mucilages
and their effect on hydrophilicity and drug release.
Discussion: The interest is increased in the fields of polymers which are obtained from natural origin
and used in the preparation of pharmaceuticals. Mucilage and gum are natural materials widely used in
the preparation of novel dosage and conventional dosage forms. They are used in the pharmaceutical
industry for various purposes like suspending, emulsifying, bio-adhesive, binding, matrix-forming, extended
release and controlled release agent. Gum and mucilage are biodegradable, less toxic, cheap
and easily available. Moreover, mucilage and gum can be changed to acquire tailored materials for the
delivery of drugs and allow them to compete with commercially available synthetic products. These
polysaccharides have unique swellability in an aqueous medium that can exert a retardant effect on
drug release or act as a super disintegrant, depending on the concentration utilized in the preparation.
Drug release mechanism from hydrophilic matrices consisting of gums and mucilages is based on solvent
penetration-induced polymer relaxation, diffusion of entrapped drug followed by degradation or
erosion of the matrix.
Conclusion: The present manuscript highlights the advantages, modifications of gum and mucilage,
their effects on hydrophilicity and drug release as well as aspects of the natural gums which can be assumed
to be bifunctional excipient because of their concentration-dependent effect on drug release and
their high degree of swellability.