Paeonol is a bioactive phenol present in Dioscorea japonica, Paeonia suffruticosa and Paeonia lactiflora. It is reported for various pharmacological activities. To review chemistry, pharmacokinetics, pharmacological activities as well as various formulations of paeonol. A literature search was done using different search terms for paeonol by using different scientific databases like PubMed, Scopus and ProQuest. Scientific papers published during the period 1969 to 2019 were comprehensively reviewed. Researchers have synthesized methoxy, ethoxy, piperazine, chromonylthiazolidine, phenol-phenylsulfonyl, alkyl ether, aminothiazole, tryptamine hybrids and paeononlsilatie derivatives to enhance the stability of paeonol. These derivatives were synthesized and evaluated for in vitro series of biological activities like anti-inflammatory, tyrosinase inhibitory, neuroprotective, anticancer and antiviral activity. Regardless of valuable therapeutic potential, the clinical use of paeonol is restricted due to poor water solubility, low oral bioavailability, low stability and high volatility at room temperature. To enhance the bioavailability of paeonol various formulations are prepared and evaluated for its activity. Paeonol formulations can be categorized as conventional-tablets, topical gel and hydrogel; polymeric delivery system-microparticles, microsponges, dendrimers, nanocapsules, polymeric nanoparticles, nanospheres; lipid-based delivery systems-microemulsion, self-micro-emulsifying drug delivery, liposome, transethosomes, ethosomes, niosomes, proniosomes, lipid-based nanoparticles and nanoemulsion of paeonol. Paeonol has a potential to be developed as a techno-commercial product with respect to its multi-faceted pharmacological properties. Even though in vitro and in vivo studies have been reported the important activities of paeonol, its commercial utilization requires extensive safety and efficacy data.
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