Interactions of dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate copolymer with non-acidic drugs demonstrated high solubilizationin vitroand pronounced sustained releasein vivo

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Graphical abstractRecent work demonstrated remarkable solubilization effects of methacrylate-copolymer Eudragit EPO (EPO) not only with acidic drugs but interestingly also with poorly soluble basic compounds. The current work studied EPO-mediated solubilization effects first in vitro using felodipine (FLP) and tamoxifen (TMX) as model compounds. EPO-containing solutions were subsequently compared in a rat pharmacokinetic study against reference solutions and suspensions. Surprisingly, solution formulations with EPO did not result in an increased relative oral bioavailability. Exposure was reduced for both drugs and plasma-profiles of the EPO solutions showed a delayed and lower maximum plasma concentration compared to the reference formulations. This sustained in vivo release was likely due to combined effects of strong drug-polymer interactions and pH-dependent precipitation of the polymer in the rat intestine. Remarkable was that in vitro drug-polymer coprecipitates did not reveal crystalline drug by polarized light microscopy. Thus, such a formulation approach provides a rather simple opportunity to modify drug release in vivo. However, this may be rather an approach for preclinical formulations, if high peak-to-trough ratios of plasma levels are problematic regarding adverse effects related to Cmax or if plasma concentrations drop too fast below required pharmacological concentrations.

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