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Expert Opin Drug Deliv. 2012 Nov;9(11):1377-92. doi: 10.1517/17425247.2012.724396.

Chemical and technological delivery systems for idebenone: a review of literature production.

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  • 1Università degli Studi di Catania, Dipartimento di Scienze del Farmaco, Sezione di Tecnologia Farmaceutica, Città Universitaria, viale A. Doria, 6, I-95125 Catania, Italy.



Idebenone (IDE) is an antioxidant compound, structurally related to coenzyme Q10. Its therapeutic potential is growing in different application areas, as demonstrated by the number of experimental works and patents produced in very recent years.


Cyclodextrin inclusion complexes, liposomes, microemulsions, prodrugs, polymeric and lipid nanoparticles have been explored to achieve different goals, such as topical administration, brain targeting or increasing the bioavailability of this highly lipophilic drug. This review summarizes the results of works published in the last 20 years for the delivery and targeting of this drug.


A direct comparison of the different carrier systems is not easy and could not even be significant, due to the large variables existing among them. However, the different forms of delivery can help increase idebenone solubility, stability and biochemical activity. Further studies will be developed in order to improve the controlled release and targeting of idebenone.

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