Structural Biochemistry/Transmucosal


Transmucosal refers to the route of administration in which the drug is diffused through the mucous membrane. This can refer to inhalation, nasal, sublingual, vaginal, rectal, or ocular routes.


Insufflation refers to the action of inhaling a substance. It is often used as a route for respiratory drugs that can treat sinus and lung conditions. This route of administration is typically used for psychoactive drugs due to the faster diffusion rates into the bloodstream and its capabilities of enabling the drug to bypass the blood-brain barrier. For this method, bioavailability is higher than the bioavailability for the oral route. Cocaine is a common drug that utilizes the route of insufflation.

Sublingual AdministrationEdit

Sublingual administration refers to the process of diffusing drugs into the blood by utilizing tissues beneath the tongue. Drugs that are designed for this route include barbiturates, enzymes, steroids, and cardiovascular drugs. Like the other transmucosal routes, the sublingual administration diffuses through the mucous membrane that is under the tongue. This process is more direct than the oral tract, and more difficult to do, thus lowering the risk of degradation due to salivary enzymes before entering the bloodstream.


  1. William H. Frey. "Bypassing the Blood-Brain Barrier to Deliver Therapeutic Agents to the Brain and Spinal Cord." Drug Delivery Technology.
  2. mendelson JE, Coyle JR, Lopez JC, Baggott MJ, Flower K, Everhart ET, Munro TA, Galloway GP, Cohen BM. "Lack of Effect of Sublingual Salvinorin A, A Naturally Occurring Kappa Opioid, in Humans: A Placebo-Controlled Trial". Sublingual Studies, Psychopharmacology (Berl). Retrieved 26 January 2012.