Buccal administration is a topical route of administration by which drugs held or applied in the buccal (//) area (in the cheek) diffuse through the oral mucosa (tissues which line the mouth) and enter directly into the bloodstream. Buccal administration may provide better bioavailability of some drugs and a more rapid onset of action compared to oral administration because the medication does not pass through the digestive system and thereby avoids first pass metabolism.
As of May 2014, the psychiatric drug asenapine; the opioid drugs buprenorphine, naloxone, and fentanyl; the cardiovascular drug nitroglycerin; the nausea medication prochlorperazine; the hormone replacement therapy testosterone; and nicotine as a smoking cessation aid were commercially available in buccal forms, as was midazolam, an anticonvulsant, used to treat acute epileptic seizures.
Buccal administration of vaccines has been studied, but there are challenges to this approach due to immune tolerance mechanisms that prevent the body from over-reacting to immunogens encountered in the course of daily life.
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