Peptides and proteins have great therapeutic potential. Proteins and peptides may be administered for therapeutic effects at comparatively low doses because of their relatively specific mode of action. For several chronic conditions such as cancer, hepatitis, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and leukaemia, this potent therapy is indicated. While the peptide and protein therapeutic market has developed significantly over the past decades, their use has been limited by delivery. Most are currently delivered intravenously or subcutaneously due to degradation and limited absorption in the gastrointestinal tract, although oral delivery is preferred. In order to facilitate the oral peptide delivery, absorption enhancers, enzyme inhibitors, carrier systems and stability enhancers are therefore being studied. Additionally, the delivery of transdermal peptides avoids gastrointestinal tract problems but also faces absorption limitations. Injections (i.e. intravenous, intramuscular, or subcutaneous route) remain the most common means of administering these protein and peptide drugs until recently. The oral, buccal, intranasal, pulmonary, transdermal, ocular and rectal routes that have been tried with varying degrees of success. This review discusses oral and transdermal peptide drug delivery, focusing on barriers and solutions to absorption and recent advances are discussed.
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