Comparative in vitro and in vivo taste assessment of liquid praziquantel formulations

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The taste of pharmaceuticals strongly affects the compliance of patients. This study investigated the applicability of the electronic tongue and rodent brief-access taste aversion (BATA) model for the bitter compound praziquantel (PZQ) and taste masked liquid formulations for PZQ. In a comparative study maltodextrin (MD) Kleptose® linecaps 17 was selected as an alternative taste masking agent to two cyclodextrins; hydroxypropyl-beta-cyclodextrin (HP-β-CD) and sulfobutyl ether-beta-cyclodextrin (SBE-β-CD). A phase solubility study showed the highest affinity and solubilization capabilities for SBE-β-CD over HP-β-CD and MD, suggesting the highest taste masking ability for SBE-β-CD. No reliable results were achieved for PZQ with the Insent electronic tongue. Thus this system was not used for further evaluation of solutions with MD and CDs to confirm the results of the solubility study. In contrast the BATA model demonstrated conclusive responses for the aversiveness of PZQ. The concentration of PZQ inhibiting 50% of water lick numbers (called IC50 value) was 0.06 mg/ml. In contrast to the phase solubility study, the MD enabled an equal taste masking effect in vivo in comparison to both CDs. Moreover HP-β-CD showed superior taste masking capabilities for PZQ compared to SBE-β-CD as the SBE-β-CD itself was less acceptable for the rodents than HP-β-CD. In conclusion, the BATA model was identified as a more efficient taste assessment tool for the pure PZQ and liquid formulations in contrast to the electronic tongue and the phase solubility study.

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