Recent advances in search of oral heparin therapeutics

Medicinal Research Reviews, 04/26/2012

Paliwal R et al. - The present review provides complete insight to the research that has been carried out for the development of heparin as oral anticoagulant.

  • Unfractionated heparin (UFH) and low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) are first choices of clinicians among available anticoagulants.
  • Currently, these agents are administered either parenterally or subcutaneously, which reduces patient compliance and acceptability.
  • Oral heparin may serve as an alternative to both parenteral heparin as well as presently available oral anticoagulants such as warfarin.
  • This review focuses mainly upon recent perspectives in the development of heparin as an oral anticoagulant.
  • The possibility of its success with special emphasis to nanotechnological approaches has been elaborated.
  • Important strategies such as the use of penetration enhancers, the development of lipid conjugates of heparin, and the incorporation of heparin in polymeric matrix systems have been discussed.
  • Additionally, introductory information on biological activities, physiochemical aspects, and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic parameters of heparin is summarized.
  • A brief comparison of UFH and LMWH is also included for reader's benefit.
  • Informative discussion on clinical trials with the successes and limitations of oral heparin formulations is also presented.

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