Personalisation of warfarin therapy using thermal ink-jet printing

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Abstract

Warfarin is a widely used anticoagulant that is critical in reducing patient morbidity and mortality associated with thromboembolic disorders. However, its narrow therapeutic index and large inter-individual variability can lead to complex dosage regimes. Formulating warfarin as an orodispersible film (ODF) using thermal ink-jet (TIJ) printing could enable personalisation of therapy to simplify administration. Commercial TIJ printers are currently unsuitable for printing the milligram dosages, typically required for warfarin therapy. As such, this study aimed to modify a commercial TIJ printing system to formulate personalised warfarin ODFs containing therapeutic dosages. A TIJ printer was modified successfully with the printer functionality intact; the substrate (paper) rolling mechanism of the printer was replaced by printing onto a stationary stage. Free film substrates were composed of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (20%w/w) and glycerol (3%w/w). The resulting ODFs were characterised for morphology, disintegration, solid-state properties and drug content. Printed film stability was assessed at 40 °C/75% relative humidity for 30 days. Therapeutic warfarin doses (1.25 and 2.5 mg) were successfully printed onto the film substrates. Excellent linearity was observed between the theoretical and measured dose by changing the warfarin feed concentration (R2 = 0.9999) and length of the print objective, i.e. the Y-value, (R2 = 0.9998). Rapid disintegration of the ODFs was achieved. As such, this study successfully formulated personalised warfarin ODFs using a modified TIJ printer, widening the range of applications for TIJ printing to formulate narrow therapeutic index drugs.

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