Nasal Spray May Offer Better Therapeutic Relief

by Rachel Baker on November 12, 2013

There has been experimenting with administering drugs through the use of nasal sprays. Editors Note: This seems like it could be a recipe for disaster in regards to designer street drugs – especially since Oxytocin is first on the list, but we’ll see. None-the-less, it is an interesting idea for at least the one drug on the list that isn’t also a party drug – insulin.

Recent findings that intranasal administration is indeed safe and effective have inspired a new appreciation of the sniff. Below we list a few of the drugs that researchers are experimenting with, including molecules of new shapes and sizes as well as novel uses of medications developed decades ago.

The secret to the nose’s potential lies in the nerve fibers embedded in its tissue. The nasal cavity houses the endings of nerves that connect to the brain stem and olfactory bulb. Chemicals traveling through or alongside these fibers can bypass the intimidating blood brain barrier. Consisting of tight cellular junctions, this barrier prevents most molecules in the bloodstream from reaching the brain. The barrier keeps pathogens out; however, it also limits the types of medications used to treat brain disorders. Intranasal delivery thus opens the door to entire new classes of therapeutic molecules—or even therapeutic cells.

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