Niosomes as carriers for tretinoin II. Influence of vesicular incorporation on tretinoin photostability

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In this work, we compared the chemical stability of tretinoin (TRA) in methanol and in vesicular suspensions exposed both to UV and artificial daylight conditions with the aim of evaluating the potential of niosomes as topical carriers capable of improving the stability of photosensitive drugs. Tretinoin-loaded niosomes were prepared from polyoxyethylene (4) lauryl ether (Brij® 30), sorbitan esters (Span® 40 and Span® 60) and a commercial mixture of octyl/decyl polyglucosides (Triton® CG110). Liposomes made from hydrogenated (P90H) and non-hydrogenated (P90) soy phosphatidylcholines were also prepared and studied. In order to evaluate the influence of vesicle structure on the photostability of tretinoin, TRA-loaded vesicles were prepared by the film hydration method, extrusion technique and sonication. After UV irradiation, TRA dissolved in methanol degraded very quickly while the incorporation in vesicles always led to a reduction of the photodegradation process. The photoprotection offered by vesicles varied depending on the vesicle structure and composition. After fluorescent light irradiation for 21 days, not all the studied vesicular formulations improved TRA stability when compared with the free drug in methanol. Tretinoin incorporated in P90 or Span vesicles presented a half-life shorter or very close to that of the free drug. However, the inclusion of TRA in P90H liposomes and Brij® 30 or Triton® CG110 niosomes retarded the drug photodegradation.

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