Phospholipids become increasingly important as formulation excipients and as active ingredients per se. The present article summarizes particular features of commonly used phospholipids and their application spectrum within oral drug formulation and elucidates current strategies to improve bioavailability and disposition of orally administered drugs. Advantages of phospholipids formulations not only comprise enhanced bioavailability of drugs with low aqueous solubility or low membrane penetration potential, but also improvement or alteration of uptake and release of drugs, protection of sensitive active agents from degradation in the gastrointestinal tract, reduction of gastrointestinal side effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and even masking of bitter taste of orally applied drugs. Technological strategies to achieve these effects are highly diverse and offer various possibilities of liquid, semi-liquid and solid lipid-based formulations for drug delivery optimization.
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