Send to

Choose Destination
Eur Urol. 2006 Dec;50(6):1183-93; discussion 1193. Epub 2006 Aug 30.

New frontiers in intravesical therapies and drug delivery.

Author information

Department of Urology, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy.



The intravesical route permits site-specific delivery of drugs with a reduced side-effect profile as compared to oral delivery systems, either by avoiding first-pass metabolism or by obtaining a local effect. We investigated mechanisms related to urothelium permeability and new physical and chemical developments in intravesical drug delivery that potentially permit successful treatment of several bladder dysfunction.


A literature review.


Pharmacologic agents increasing urothelial permeability and useful for clinical purposes have been described, such as dimethylsulfoxide, protamine sulphate, chitosan, and nystatin. Among physical approaches, electromotive drug administration appears to be more effective than intravesical passive diffusion in delivering drugs through the urothelium into deeper layers of the bladder. Experimental and clinical reports demonstrated that electric current significantly increases the transport of local anaesthetics, mytomicin C, oxybutynin, resiniferatoxin, epinephrine, and dexamethasone. Among new chemical approaches, cell-penetrating peptides posses the ability to translocate macromolecular drugs across membranes of urothelial cells. The therapeutic benefits of sustained delivery afforded by thermosensitive hydrogel, which forms a depot for hydrophilic and hydrophobic drugs, have been demonstrated by delivering anti-inflammatory drugs. Liposomes improve the aqueous solubility of several hydrophobic drugs such as taxol, amphotericin, and capsaicin.


Electromotive drug administration, new in situ delivery systems, and bioadhesive liposomes may make it possible to extend intravesical therapy and drug administration to many bladder diseases. Research to expand knowledge of the chemical and physical properties of the bladder and processes regulating drug transport across biologic membranes is needed to make this a reality.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center