Thee family of clinically available peptide hormones (PHs) is expanding in an exponential way, and advancement of knowledge of the basic mechanisms of action of PHs has led to multiplication of the possible clinical indications of already known PHs, and appears even more promising for still unknown PHs. A common obstacle to a full routine use of PHs is represented by the fact that PHs cannot be administered by the oral route, since they undergo digestion and inactivation in the gastrointestinal tract and a significant first pass metabolism in the liver. One alternative is represented by intranasal administration of PHs. The intranasal route of administration of PHs is also very attractive because of its convenience, which should assure a goad compliance by patients. Luteinizing hormone releasing hormone, the analogues, desmopressin, oxytecin and salmon calcitonin are already marketed for intranasal administration; for salmon calcitonin, studies about bioavailability have been scanty in the past, but should be re-considered in order to fully explore its clinical benefit. Intranasal peptide hormones not yet on the market are insulin, glucagon, growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) and GHRP, GH and somatostatin, but the scenario is likely to change in a short period of time. Hexarelin seems very effective and is at a promising stage of development; also, glucagon appears mature enough to undergo extensive clinical evaluation and possibly marketing. The concern is why other peptides have not been further evaluated, as is the case for somatostatin and its analogues.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmaceutical Science