Lipid nanocarriers as drug delivery system for ibuprofen in pain treatment

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Due to their small size, lipid nanocapsules (LNC) might be promising for an injectable as well as for an oral drug delivery system, providing both sufficient drug solubility avoiding vessel embolisation for the intravenous injection and a positive effect of drug absorption after oral administration. Biocompatible ibuprofen LNC were developed in a size range of around 50 nm with a new preparation method. Drug incorporation into LNC was successful to a high degree in all formulations tested (94–98%) and the in vitro drug release in phosphate buffer occurred within 24 h. Pharmacokinetic data were recorded in vivo from rats after intravenous or oral administration, while the antinociceptive efficiency of the LNC formulation was compared with ibuprofen solution by the tail flick test. The AUC and half-life of intravenously injected ibuprofen LNC were found to be 16 and 19%, respectively, higher than a simple drug solution, while the mean residence time was not changed. Oral administration of LNC showed an 18% increase of AUC and a 27% higher mean residence time. The antinociceptive effect was similar for oral administration, drug solution, and LNC at 30 min after administration, and was prolonged up to 4 h in the LNC group. The pain relief after intravenous administration was prolonged when administering LNC formulation for at least 2 h. A drug delivery system for intravenous administration of ibuprofen has been developed which exhibits sustained release properties by either oral or intravenous route and may be interesting in the treatment of postoperative pain.

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