Insights into medicated films as attractive dosage forms


  • Noor Hameed Alsaide Department of pharmaceutics, college of pharmacy, Mustansiriyah university
  • Nidhal Khazaal Maraie Department of pharmaceutics, college of pharmacy, Alfarahidi university



thin film, polymer, buccal, transdermal, local effect.


Different traditional dosage forms available in the market with many drawbacks including patient inconvenience, limited applications to several sites, variable bioavailability in addition to patent expiration. These drawbacks make pharmaceutical companies look for other drug platforms. Thin films loaded with active ingredients which are prepared as flexible polymer layer gaining acceptability in drug industry. They are easily prepared, adapted for administration of drug via different routes (to overcome several barriers) including ocular, dermal, transdermal, vaginal, oral and others. In additions, thin films are free of harmful chemicals and offer good drug stability. This review spotlights on the medicated thin films as alternative dosage forms that require further attention to maximize their performance and application.


- Maniruzzaman M, Boateng JS, Snowden MJ, Douroumis D. A review of hot-melt extrusion: process technology to pharmaceutical products. Int Sch Res Not. 2012;2012. DOI:

- Patel VF, Liu F, Brown MB. Advances in oral transmucosal drug delivery. J Control release. 2011;153(2):106–16. DOI:

- Anandhakumar S, Gokul P, Raichur AM. Stimuli-responsive weak polyelectrolyte multilayer films: A thin film platform for self triggered multi-drug delivery. Mater Sci Eng C. 2016;58(28):622–8. DOI:

- Sharma D, Kaur D, Verma S, Singh D, Singh M, Singh G, et al. Fast dissolving oral films technology: A recent trend for an innovative oral drug delivery system. Int J Drug Deliv. 2015;7(2):60–75.

- Castro PM, Fonte P, Sousa F, Madureira AR, Sarmento B, Pintado ME. Oral films as breakthrough tools for oral delivery of proteins/peptides. J Control Release. 2015;211:63–73. DOI:

- Rajab NA, Hussein AA. Formulation and in-vitro evaluation of darifenacin hydrobromide as buccal films. Iraqi J Pharm Sci. 2019;28(2):83–94. DOI:

- Achouri D, Alhanout K, Piccerelle P, Andrieu V. Recent advances in ocular drug delivery. Drug Dev Ind Pharm. 2013;39(11):1599–617. DOI:

- Buanz ABM, Belaunde CC, Soutari N, Tuleu C, Gul MO, Gaisford S. Ink-jet printing versus solvent casting to prepare oral films: Effect on mechanical properties and physical stability. Int J Pharm. 2015;494(2):611–8. DOI:

- Nair AB, Kumria R, Harsha S, Attimarad M, Al-Dhubiab BE, Alhaider IA. In vitro techniques to evaluate buccal films. J Control Release. 2013;166(1):10–21. DOI:

- Ng YC, Yang Z, McAuley WJ, Qi S. Stabilisation of amorphous drugs under high humidity using pharmaceutical thin films. Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2013;84(3):555–65. DOI:

- Irfan M, Rabel S, Bukhtar Q, Qadir MI, Jabeen F, Khan A. Orally disintegrating films: A modern expansion in drug delivery system. Saudi Pharm J. 2016;24(5):537–46. DOI:

- Patel A, Cholkar K, Agrahari V, Mitra AK. Ocular drug delivery systems: An overview. World J Pharmacol. 2013;2(2):47. DOI:

- Gupta MS, Kumar TP, Gowda DV, Rosenholm JM. Orodispersible films: Conception to quality by design. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2021;178 (15):113983. DOI:

- A Hussein A, M Ghareeb M, A Bader Q. Preparation, In Vitro and Ex Vivo Evaluation of MucoadhesiveBuccal Films of Silibinin. karbala J Pharm Sci. 2013;4(4):1–10.

- Aguirre G, Taboada P, Billon L. Spontaneously Self-Assembled Microgel Film as Co-Delivery System for Skincare Applications. Pharmaceutics. 2021;13(9):1422. DOI:

- Khairnar GA, Sayyad FJ. Development of buccal drug delivery system based on mucoadhesive polymers. Int J PharmTech Res. 2010;2(1):719–35.

- Qamar SA, Riasat A, Jahangeer M, Fatima R, Bilal M, Iqbal HMN, et al. Prospects of microbial polysaccharides‐based hybrid constructs for biomimicking applications. J Basic Microbiol. 2022;2(6):17. DOI:

- Dinge A, Nagarsenker M. Formulation and evaluation of fast dissolving films for delivery of triclosan to the oral cavity. Aaps Pharmscitech. 2008;9(2):349–56. DOI:

- Karki S, Kim H, Na SJ, Shin D, Jo K, Lee J. Thin films as an emerging platform for drug delivery. asian J Pharm Sci. 2016;11(5):559–74. DOI:

- Cilurzo F, Cupone IE, Minghetti P, Selmin F, Montanari L. Fast dissolving films made of maltodextrins. Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2008;70(3):895–900. DOI:

- Chaudhary H, Gauri S, Rathee P, Kumar V. Development and optimization of fast dissolving oro-dispersible films of granisetron HCl using Box–Behnken statistical design. Bull Fac Pharmacy, Cairo Univ. 2013;51(2):193–201. DOI:

- Bhatt M, Bhatt G, Kothiyal P, Chaudhary S. A review on buccal mucosal route of drug administration. World J Pharm Res. 2016;5:868–90. DOI:

- Bhyan B, Jangra S, Kaur M, Singh H. Orally fast dissolving films: innovations in formulation and technology. Int J Pharm Sci Rev Res. 2011;9(2):9–15.

- Uddin MN, Allon A, Roni MA, Kouzi S. Overview and future potential of fast dissolving buccal films as drug delivery system for vaccines. J Pharm Pharm Sci. 2019;22(17):388–406. DOI:

- de la Fuente M, Raviña M, Paolicelli P, Sanchez A, Seijo B, Alonso MJ. Chitosan-based nanostructures: a delivery platform for ocular therapeutics. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2010;62(1):100–17. DOI:

- Mahajan HS, Deshmukh SR. Development and evaluation of gel-forming ocular films based on xyloglucan. Carbohydr Polym. 2015;122:243–7. DOI:

- Toffoletto N, Saramago B, Serro AP. Therapeutic ophthalmic lenses: a review. Pharmaceutics. 2020;13(1):36. DOI:

- Yas AA, Marie NK. Formulation and Evaluation of Cimetidine as a Topical Preparation. Al Mustansiriyah J Pharm Sci. 2007;4(1):87–101. DOI:

- Aktar B, Erdal MS, Sagirli O, Güngör S, Özsoy Y. Optimization of biopolymer based transdermal films of metoclopramide as an alternative delivery approach. Polymers (Basel). 2014;6(5):1350–65. DOI:

- Mali AD. An updated review on transdermal drug delivery systems. Skin (Los Angeles). 2015;8(9).

- Schroeder IZ, Franke P, Schaefer UF, Lehr CM. Delivery of ethinylestradiol from film forming polymeric solutions across human epidermis in vitro and in vivo in pigs. J Control Release. 2007;118(2):196–203. DOI:

- Amjadi M, Sheykhansari S, Nelson BJ, Sitti M. Recent advances in wearable transdermal delivery systems. Adv Mater. 2018;30(7):1704530. DOI:

- Khasraghi AH. Formulation and In Vitro Evaluation of Mucoadhesive Nystatin Vaginal Gel. Al Mustansiriyah J Pharm Sci. 2012;12(2):89–106. DOI:

- Akil A, Parniak MA, Dezzutti CS, Moncla BJ, Cost MR, Li M, et al. Development and characterization of a vaginal film containing dapivirine, a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI), for prevention of HIV-1 sexual transmission. Drug Deliv Transl Res. 2011;1(3):209–22. DOI:

- Garg S, Goldman D, Krumme M, Rohan LC, Smoot S, Friend DR. Advances in development, scale-up and manufacturing of microbicide gels, films, and tablets. Antiviral Res. 2010;88:S19–29. DOI:

- Dobaria NB, Badhan AC, Mashru RC. A novel itraconazole bioadhesive film for vaginal delivery: design, optimization, and physicodynamic characterization. Aaps Pharmscitech. 2009;10(3):951–9. DOI:

- Notario-Pérez F, Cazorla-Luna R, Martín-Illana A, Galante J, Ruiz-Caro R, das Neves J, et al. Design, fabrication and characterisation of drug-loaded vaginal films: State-of-the-art. J Control Release. 2020;327(11):477–99. DOI:

- Claure I, Anderson D, Klapperich CM, Kuohung W, Wong JY. Biomaterials and contraception: promises and pitfalls. Ann Biomed Eng. 2020;48(7):2113–31. DOI:

- Streubel A, Siepmann J, Bodmeier R. Gastroretentive drug delivery systems. Expert Opin Drug Deliv. 2006;3(2):217–33. DOI:

- Alaithan S, Naveen NR, Goudanavar PS, Bhavani PD, Ramesh B, Koppuravuri NP, et al. Development of Novel Unfolding Film System of Itopride Hydrochloride Using Box-Behnken Design—A Gastro Retentive Approach. Pharmaceuticals. 2022;15(8):981. DOI:

- Verma S, Nagpal K, Singh SK, Mishra DN. Unfolding type gastroretentive film of Cinnarizine based on ethyl cellulose and hydroxypropylmethyl cellulose. Int J Biol Macromol. 2014;64:347–52. DOI:

- Chittam S, Bhosale A. Development and Evaluation of Floating and Expanding Gastroretentive Film of Furosemide. Int J Pharm Investig. 2020;10(2):179–83. DOI:

- Kaewkroek K, Petchsomrit A, Septama AW, Wiwattanapatapee R. Development of starch/chitosan expandable films as a gastroretentive carrier for ginger extract-loaded solid dispersion. Saudi Pharm J. 2022;30(2):120–31. DOI:

- Arya A, Chandra A, Sharma V, Pathak K. Fast dissolving oral films: an innovative drug delivery system and dosage form. Int J ChemTech Res. 2010;2(1):576–83.

- Guarve K, Kriplani P. HPMC-A Marvel Polymer for Pharmaceutical Industry-Patent Review. Recent Adv Drug Deliv Formul Former Recent Patents Drug Deliv Formul. 2021;15(1):46–58. DOI:

- Borges AF, Silva C, Coelho JFJ, Simões S. Oral films: Current status and future perspectives II—Intellectual property, technologies and market needs. J Control Release. 2015;206(11):108–21. DOI:

- Kaur G, Singh D, Brar V. Bioadhesive okra polymer based buccal patches as platform for controlled drug delivery. Int J Biol Macromol. 2014;70:408–19. DOI:

- Gandhi RB, Robinson JR. Oral cavity as a site for bioadhesive drug delivery. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 1994;13(1–2):43–74. DOI:

- Galey WR, Lonsdale HK, Nacht S. The in vitro permeability of skin and buccal mucosa to selected drugs and tritiated water. J Invest Dermatol. 1976;67(6):713–7. DOI:

- Hao J, Heng PWS. Buccal delivery systems. Drug Dev Ind Pharm. 2003;29(8):821–32. DOI:

- Lam JKW, Xu Y, Worsley A, Wong ICK. Oral transmucosal drug delivery for pediatric use. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2014;73:50–62. DOI:

- Perumal VA, Lutchman D, Mackraj I, Govender T. Formulation of monolayered films with drug and polymers of opposing solubilities. Int J Pharm. 2008;358(1–2):184–91. DOI:

- Haque SE, Sheela A. Development of polymer-bound fast-dissolving metformin buccal film with disintegrants. Int J Nanomedicine. 2015;10(Suppl 1):199. DOI:

- Malik MM, Maraie NK. Preparation and evaluation of famotidine nanosuspension. Al Mustansiriyah J Pharm Sci. 2018;18(2):13–23. DOI:

- Heckman MA, Sherry K, De Mejia EG. Energy drinks: an assessment of their market size, consumer demographics, ingredient profile, functionality, and regulations in the United States. Compr Rev food Sci food Saf. 2010;9(3):303–17. DOI:

- Álvarez-Paino M, Muñoz-Bonilla A, Fernández-García M. Antimicrobial polymers in the nano-world. Nanomaterials. 2017;7(2):48. DOI:

- Godbole A, Joshi R, Sontakke M. Oral thin film technology-Current challenges and future scope. Int J Adv Res Eng Appl Sci. 2018;7(2).

- Elshafeey AH, El-Dahmy RM. Formulation and development of oral fast-dissolving films loaded with nanosuspension to augment paroxetine bioavailability: In vitro characterization, ex vivo permeation, and pharmacokinetic evaluation in healthy human volunteers. Pharmaceutics. 2021;13(11):1869. DOI:

- Abdella S, Afinjuomo F, Song Y, Upton R, Garg S. Mucoadhesive Buccal Film of Estradiol for Hormonal Replacement Therapy: Development and In-Vivo Performance Prediction. Pharmaceutics. 2022;14(3):542. DOI:

- Armenta Rojas E, Cornejo Bravo JM, Serrano Medina A, López Maldonado EA, Olivas Sarabia A, Castillo Martínez NA, et al. Chitosan mucoadhesive films as controlled release system of nystatin for buccal application. Rev CIENCIAS TECNOLÓGICAS. 2021;2(3):18.

- Özakar RS, Özakar E. Current overview of oral thin films. Turkish J Pharm Sci. 2021;18(1):111. DOI: