Rationale for ibuprofen co-administration with antacids: Potential interaction mechanisms affecting drug absorption

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Ibuprofen is a widely used NSAID which is often co-administered with antacids because of its gastro-irritant effects. Literature data suggest that antacid interactions may increase or decrease the drug's absorption rate and onset of action and that the interaction may be formulation specific. In the present study, literature data on ibuprofen absorption were evaluated in order to gain insight into the nature of the in vivo effect. Solubility determinations in reactive media containing magnesium or aluminium and dissolution studies in the presence of antacid suspension were performed in an attempt to simulate in vitro the effects observed in vivo. The results obtained indicate that magnesium hydroxide enhances ibuprofen solubility, dissolution and bioavailability, while aluminium hydroxide has a retarding effect. Solubility studies indicated formation of a soluble solid ibuprofen phase in the presence of Mg2+, in contrast, an insoluble ibuprofen salt was formed with Al3+. The introduction of magnesium based antacid suspension into the dissolution media resulted in a formulation specific increase in drug dissolution rate with the most pronounced effect observed for the slowest release tablet formulation. The results obtained indicate the potential for in vitro studies to predict physicochemical interactions that are likely to influence drug absorption rate in vivo.

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