This review describes the most important new generations of pharmaceutical systems: medicines with extended release, controlled release pharmaceutical systems, pharmaceutical systems for the targeted delivery of drug substances. The latest advances and approaches for delivering small molecular weight drugs and other biologically active agents such as proteins and nucleic acids require novel delivery technologies, the success of a drug being many times dependent on the delivery method. All these dosage forms are qualitatively superior to medicines with immediate release, in that they ensure optimal drug concentrations depending on specific demands of different disease particularities of the body. Drug delivery of these pharmaceutical formulations has the benefit of improving product efficacy and safety, as well as patient convenience and compliance. This paper describes the biopharmaceutical, pharmacokinetic, pharmacologic and technological principles in the design of drug delivery systems with modified release as well as the formulation criteria of prolonged and controlled release drug delivery systems. The paper presents pharmaceutical prolonged and controlled release dosage forms intended for different routes of administration: oral, ocular, transdermal, parenteral, pulmonary, mucoadhesive, but also orally fast dissolving tablets, gastroretentive drug delivery systems, colon-specific drug delivery systems, pulsatile drug delivery systems and carrier or ligand mediated transport for site specific or receptor drug targeting. Specific technologies are given on the dosage forms with modified release as well as examples of marketed products, and current research in these areas.
Keywords: Drug delivery systems, medicine, modified release, pharmacy, Biodegradable Systems, Polymer Matrix-diffusion DDS, Microreservoir Partition Controlled DDS, Activation-modulated DDS, Osmotic Pressure Activated DDS, Enzyme Activated, Hopfenberg Model.