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Naazia Zafar* M. Pharm


Cost of treatment is a major concern for modern medicine in developing countries like India and systematic innovations are needed to reduce these costs. The global focus is now on methods aimed at reducing the drug dosage and thereby, treatment costs. One way to achieve reduction in drug dosage, drug toxicity and cost is to increase drug bioavailability. This article reviews the concept of herbal bioenhancers to reduce treatment costs by increasing drug bioavailability. Herbal bioenhancers, also known as phytomolecules are compounds which at less quantity promote and extend the bioavailability or biological activity of drugs. Their development is based on ancient knowledge of Ayurveda. They reduce the dose, shorten the treatment period and thus minimize drug - resistance problems. Due to dose - economy, they make treatment cost affordable, reduce drug toxicity and adverse drug reactions. Their mode of action is mainly by absorption process, drug metabolism and their action on drug target. Bioenhancers of herbal nature have been reported to augment biological availability and biological efficacy of various classes of drugs such as antibiotics, antitubercular, antiviral, antifungal, and anticancerous drugs at low doses. They have also shown to improve oral absorption of nutraceuticals like vitamins, minerals, amino acids and certain herbal compounds.

Keywords: Bioavailability, Herbal bioenhancers, phytomolecules, Ayurveda, nutraceuticals.

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