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magnetically activated pills

swallow a device that releases drugs when it reaches the colon
  [vote for,

Swallowing a pill is the simplest way of administering drugs. However, some drugs cannot be effectively absorbed in the stomach. The acid in the stomach destroys the drug before it is absorbed. These drugs have be administered by other means such as inhalation or delivered by suppository (where it can be absorbed through mucosal layers and the like).

I imagine a suppository would be uncomfortable and awkward to use. So I suggest a capsule suppository that is administered orally. Basically, this is a capsule that contains the drug and stays sealed until it reaches the colon where it then releases the drug.

The capsule could be a purely mechanical device that is opened by a spring when influenced by a strong magnetic field. The magnetic field would be supplied by a permanent magnet that the user wears on the skin adjacent the colon.

Alternatively, the capsule could be electronically activated. A reed switch (activated by an external magnetic field) would cause a motor to open the capsule and release the drugs.

xaviergisz, Aug 21 2010

Maybe in combination with http://en.wikipedia...i/Capsule_endoscopy
[mouseposture, Aug 21 2010]

Enteric Coating http://en.wikipedia...iki/Enteric_coating
Baked? [Grogster, Aug 21 2010]

Reusable (for [8th_of_7]) http://en.wikipedia.../wiki/Antimony_pill
[mouseposture, Aug 21 2010]


       [+] I think this would be even more useful for radiographic contrast material. You could release just a little, at just the spot you wanted to image, rather than the tedious, uncomfortable, and time-consuming business of clearing the gut and flooding it with contrast. More: if you didn't get a good picture, you could give another squirt & try again.   

       Could be combined with <link>
mouseposture, Aug 21 2010

       [bigsleep] //self-propelled endoscopes could race// You *must* post that so I can vote for it.
mouseposture, Aug 21 2010

       Isn't this already baked through enteric coating? [link]
Grogster, Aug 21 2010

       and since the capsule halves won't dissolve it's reusable.
FlyingToaster, Aug 21 2010

       // it's reusable. //   

       EEEeeeeeeeEEEEeeewwwwwww ....
8th of 7, Aug 21 2010

       //EEEeee...www// <link>   

       [bigsleep] Frightening. If you had two of those in your gut, racing, it looks like they might actually _fight_.
mouseposture, Aug 21 2010

       From link;
// a single pill would serve a whole family during their lives and might be transmitted as an heirloom to posterity.//


       Yes, we know about "Antimony Pills" ... unfortunately.   

       Quite who made the commercial connection between a toxic metal and self-administered non-prescription medication is not clear, but they were probably a psychopath.
8th of 7, Aug 21 2010

       //I imagine a suppository would be uncomfortable and awkward to use// That sounds like a thinly-disguised voice of someone who has had an experience.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 23 2010

       //That sounds like a thinly-disguised voice of someone who has had an experience//   

       nope, sorry to disappoint. Although I admit my intentions weren't as pure as driven snow; I was thinking about how illicit substances could be consumed.
xaviergisz, Aug 23 2010

       //who made the commercial connection ... were probably a psychopath// Not much head for business, though: if one antimony pill was enough to last a whole family for generations, how many could you sell?
mouseposture, Aug 23 2010


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