Development of a novel osmotically driven drug delivery system for weakly basic drugs

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Abstract

The drug substance SAG/ZK has a short biological half-life and because of its weakly basic nature a strong pH-dependent solubility was observed. The aim of this study was to develop a controlled release (cr) multiple unit pellet formulation for SAG/ZK with pH-independent drug release. Pellets with a drug load of 60% were prepared by extrusion/spheronization followed by cr-film coating with an extended release polyvinyl acetate/polyvinyl pyrrolidone dispersion (Kollidon SR 30 D). To overcome the problem of pH-dependent drug release the pellets were then coated with a second layer of an enteric methacrylic acid and ethyl acrylate copolymer (Kollicoat MAE 30 DP). To increase the drug release rates from the double layered cr-pellets different osmotically active ionic (sodium and potassium chloride) and nonionic (sucrose) additives were incorporated into the pellet core. Drug release studies were performed in media of different osmotic pressure to clarify the main release mechanism. Extended release coated pellets of SAG/ZK demonstrated pH-dependent drug release. Applying a second enteric coat on top of the extended release film coat failed in order to achieve pH-independent drug release. Already low enteric polymer levels on top of the extended release coated pellets decreased drug release rates at pH 1 drastically, thus resulting in a reversal of the pH-dependency (faster release at pH 6.8 than in 0.1 N HCl). The addition of osmotically active ingredients (sodium and potassium chloride, and sucrose) increased the imbibing of aqueous fluids into the pellet cores thus providing a saturated drug solution inside the beads and increasing drug concentration gradients. In addition, for these pellets increased formation of pores and cracks in the polymer coating was observed. Hence drug release rates from double layered beads increased significantly. Therefore, pH-independent osmotically driven SAG/ZK release was achieved from pellets containing osmotically active ingredients and coated with an extended and enteric polymer. In contrast, with increasing osmotic pressure of the dissolution medium the in vitro drug release rates decreased significantly.

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