Nanomedicines or nano-pharmaceuticals are those medicine which can be used in the nano-size range ie 10 to 999 nm and one nanometer is one billionth of a meter. It is the application of nanotechnology in the field of medical sciences. These tiny creatures are scientifically packed in a variety of materials, which are then administered to patients for the purpose of treatment as an improved drug delivery system.
Benefits of nanopharmaceuticals over conventional dosage forms
- Nano-pharmaceuticals have the ability to target the organ in which the disease exists. Due to this amazing ability of NPs, the side effect produced by the drugs will either be less or negligible on the other organs of the body.
- NPs have to ability to produce their effects for a prolonged period of time than the traditional dosage forms. In order words, we can say that less frequent doses to be taken than the traditional dosage form, if the drug is administered in the NPs dosage form. It is a very common practice that the patients usually forget to take their drug at a required and predetermined time. Due to such negligence, the desired effects of the treatment cannot be achieved and will ultimately lead to the prolongation of disease.
This can be explained by a simple example ie if a traditional drug is to be taken thrice a day, then the same drugs, if given in the form of NPs can be given twice or even once a day. Similarly, if a drug is to be given twice a day then its administration can be reduced to once a day only. This incredible benefit will provide not only a sigh of relief to the patients but also to the administrator of the drug or attendant of the patient if any.
- The drugs which are insoluble in water and cannot be administered with water can easily be administered with water if converted into NPs form. In other words, we can say that the dissolution of less water-soluble drugs can be increased while incorporated it into nanoparticles form.
- Drugs in the form of NPs can be delivered directly to and through the lungs. In the case of lungs infection, the drug can be directly delivered to it through inhalation. The drug to other parts of the body can also be delivered through the lungs and the scientists have achieved some promising results in this area of research.
The scientists have also developed the insulin nanoparticles which can be delivered to the body through the lungs. It is to be noted that insulin is delivery into the body through injection and there is no other way for its administration yet. It is a very painful experience for diabetic patients to take the doses of insulin once or twice daily via injections.
The insulin nanoparticles are in testing phases and are not available in the market yet. If the scientists are able to get this miracle done then it would be a mild stone in the history of medicine and the life of diabetic patients will become extremely easy while taking this drug for the purpose of controlling their glucose level.
- The drugs are metabolized inside the body by the endogenous enzymatic system just like food products. Due to the process of metabolism, the drug fails to produce the desired results.
In the traditional form of treatment, the drug is to be administered in greater quantities or repeated doses to get the required results. This also leads to an increase in side effects and the high cost of medicine. This problem has also been resolved by the advancements in the field of nano-medicine and now such nanopharmaceuticals can be manufactured upon which the enzymatic effects will be minimal. Such nano-pharmaceuticals can remain in the body for a longer time and can produce their therapeutic effect without frequent dosing.