Microemulsions containing long-chain oil ethyl oleate improve the oral bioavailability of piroxicam by increasing drug solubility and lymphatic transportation simultaneously

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Drug solubility and lymphatic transport enhancements are two main pathways to improve drug oral bioavailability for microemulsions. However, it is not easy to have both achieved simultaneously because excipients used for improving lymphatic transport were usually insufficient in forming microemulsions and solubilizing drugs. Our research is to explore whether ethyl oleate, an oil effective in developing microemulsions with desired solubilizing capability, could increase bioavailability to a higher extent by enhancing lymphatic transport. As a long-chain oil, ethyl oleate won larger microemulsion area than short-chain tributyrin and medium-chain GTCC. In contrast, long-chain soybean oil failed to prepare microemulsions. The solubility of piroxicam in ethyl oleate microemulsions (ME-C) increased by about 30 times than in water. ME-C also won significantly higher AUC0−t compared with tributyrin microemulsions (ME-A) and GTCC microemulsions (ME-B). Oral bioavailability in ME-C decreased by 38% after lymphatic transport was blocked by cycloheximide, severer than those in ME-A and ME-B (8% and 34%). These results suggest that improving lymphatic transport and solubility simultaneously might be a novel strategy to increase drug oral bioavailability to a higher extent than increasing solubility only. Ethyl oleate is a preferred oil candidate due to its integrated advantages of high solubilizing capability, large microemulsion area and effective lymphatic transport.

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