Pre-packaged pills don't take into account an individual's body weight, gender, race or kidney and liver functions. As a result, doses can be too high or too low for a specific patient.
Researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine believe they've unlocked a secret formula for more effective treatments and fewer side effects: 3D-printed, customized pills.
Pill Meant To Keep You Feeling Young
A group of medical researchers, led by Min Pu, a doctor and professor at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, unveiled a method to 3-D print custom medications in pill form during a recent presentation to American Heart Association Scientific Sessions (AHASS).
"Patients are not all the same," Pu told Fast Company. "The way we react to a drug is ... dictated in part by our genetics as well as many other individual factors. Currently, pill dosages are dosed based on a ‘standard' patient. That's akin to a clothing store only selling suits of three different sizes and expecting a perfect fit in all customers."
The researchers created an algorithm that analyzes patient info and calculates the ideal dose for them, which can then be 3D-printed.
Edible Sensors Powered By Stomach Acid
The FDA approved its first 3D-printed pill this past April. The pill SPRITAM, developed by Aprecia for the treatment of epilepsy, is 3D-printed in order to provide a high dose of medication that rapidly disintegrates with a sip of liquid.
As for Wake Forest University's customized 3D-printed pills, the conclusions from the study are preliminary and more research and trials need to be conducted to further evaluate effectiveness.
via Fast Company