Pharma Focus Asia

Orally Disintegrating Films: A Modern Expansion In Drug Delivery System

Authors : Muhammad Irfan, Sumeira Rabel, Quratulain Bukhtar, Muhammad Imran Qadir, Farhat Jabeen, Ahmed Khan


Over the past few decades, tendency toward innovative drug delivery systems has majorly increased attempts to ensure efficacy, safety and patient acceptability. As discovery and development of new chemical agents is a complex, expensive and time consuming process, so recent trends are shifting toward designing and developing innovative drug delivery systems for existing drugs. Out of those, drug delivery system being very eminent among pediatrics and geriatrics is orally disintegrating films (ODFs). These fast disintegrating films have superiority over fast disintegrating tablets as the latter are associated with the risks of choking and friability. This drug delivery system has numerous advantages over conventional fast disintegrating tablets as they can be used for dysphasic and schizophrenic patients and are taken without water due to their ability to disintegrate within a few seconds releasing medication in mouth. Various approaches are employed for formulating ODFs and among which solvent casting and spraying methods are frequently used. Generally, hydrophilic polymers along with other excipients are used for preparing ODFs which allow films to disintegrate quickly releasing incorporated active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) within seconds. Orally disintegrating films have potential for business and market exploitation because of their myriad of benefits over orally disintegrating tablets. This present review attempts to focus on benefits, composition, approaches for formulation and evaluation of ODFs. Additionally, the market prospect of this innovative dosage form is also targeted.


ODFs; Novel drug delivery; Formulation parameters; Manufacturing techniques

Citation: Muhammad Irfan, Sumeira Rabel, Quratulain Bukhtar, Muhammad Imran Qadir, Farhat Jabeen, Ahmed Khan
Orally Disintegrating Films: A Modern Expansion In Drug Delivery System

Received: 30 January 2015, Accepted: 28 February 2015, Available online: 10 March 2015

Copyright: © 2016 The Authors. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of King Saud University. This is
an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (


The present review shows that oral fast disintegrating films are one of the novel approaches in the field of pharmaceutical sciences. They have improved acceptance and patient compliance with no risk of choking associated with better safety and efficacy in comparison with conventional dosage forms. The main idea behind formulation of ODFs was to cope with the difficulty in swallowing conventional oral dosage forms among pediatric, geriatric and psychiatric patients with dysphagia. Presently, ODFs are widely available for hypertension, acidity, allergy, pain, etc. reflecting their importance. Major advantages of such dosage form are their administration without the use of water fulfilling the need of target population seeking convenience in drug administration along with bypassing the hepatic metabolism, consequently, leading to improved therapeutic response.

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