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Systemic Delivery of Peptide Hormones Using Nasal Powders: Strategies and Future Perspectives

[ Vol. 9 , Issue. 4 ]


Lisa Engio and Remigius U. Agu*   Pages 286 - 298 ( 13 )


Background: Peptide Hormones (PH) are mainly administered as parenteral injections due to their peculiar physicochemical properties, and susceptibility to enzymatic degradation after oral administration. With invasive routes, however, patient safety, acceptability, and compliance become a concern, especially when a patient has a chronic condition that requires repeated injections. The delivery of peptide hormones via the nasal route has gained momentum over the last few decades as a noninvasive alternative to parenteral injections and commercially available nasal liquid products.

Objective: The aim of this paper was to review:

(1) The benefits and limitations of nasal powder products,

(2) Formulation strategies to enhance nasal delivery of peptide hormone drugs,

(3) Nasal powder devices, and

(4) Future perspectives of therapeutic nasal powders. The drugs examined specifically include calcitonin, desmopressin, ghrelin, glucagon, human growth hormone, insulin, octreotide, and oxytocin.

Methods: Nasal delivery of peptide hormones using powders was reviewed with the following databases: EBSCO, PUBMED, Web of Science,, and EU Clinical Trials Register.

Results: Nasal powders are a promising drug delivery system that may be safer and more effective than traditional injections and presently marketed nasal liquids for peptide hormone drugs.

Conclusion: With sustained interest and growing body of supporting evidence, a range of nasal powders for systemic delivery of these drugs and delivery devices can be expected to enter the market in the future and offer more options to patients.


Microparticles, nasal delivery devices, nasal drug delivery, peptide hormone, powder, systemic.


Biopharmaceutics and Drug Delivery Lab, College of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Biopharmaceutics and Drug Delivery Lab, College of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health, Dalhousie University, Halifax

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