Pharmacodynamic aspects of sustained release preparations

Amnon Hoffman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


The sustained release (SR) mode of drug administration has certain features that have an important impact on the magnitude of the pharmacologic response: (a) it minimizes fluctuation in blood drug concentrations (i.e. between peak and trough). However, due to the pronounced non-linear relationship between drug concentration and pharmacologic effect (i.e. pharmacodynamics) the impact of this property differs considerably as a function of the shape of the pharmacodynamic profile and the position of the specific range of concentrations on the curve of this profile; (b) it produces a slow input rate which tends to minimize the body's counteraction to the drug's intervening effect on regulated physiological processes; and (c) it provides a continuous mode of drug administration. This important pharmacodynamic characteristic may produce, in certain cases, an opposite clinical effect than that attained by an intermittent (pulsatile) mode of administration of the same drug. For many drugs with non-concentration-dependent pharmacodynamics, the exposure time, rather than the AUC, is the relevant parameter and it can therefore be optimized by SR preparations. The slow input function may minimize hysteresis in cases where the site of action is not in a rapid equilibrium with the blood circulation. The pharmacodynamics of the desired effect(s) and/or adverse effect(s) may also be influenced by the site of administration, especially in cases where the drug is delivered directly to its site of action. These factors demonstrate the important influence of the mode of administration on the pharmacological and clinical outcomes. In addition, they highlight the need to include these pharmacodynamic considerations in all stages from drug development to the optimization of their clinical use. Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)185-199
Number of pages15
JournalAdvanced Drug Delivery Reviews
Issue number3
StatePublished - 7 Sep 1998


  • Administration rate
  • Adverse effect
  • Drug delivery
  • Drug development
  • Exposure time
  • Pharmacodynamics
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Pharmacologic response
  • Sustained release


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