This article describes the development of novel nasal morphine formulations based on chitosan, which, in the sheep model, provide a highly increased absorption with a 5- to 6-fold increase in bioavailability over simple morphine solutions. The chitosan-morphine nasal formulations have been tested in healthy volunteers in comparison with a slow i.v. infusion (over 30 min) of morphine. The results show that the nasal formulation was rapidly absorbed with a T
max of 15 min or less and a bioavailability of nearly 60%.