Significance of lipid matrix aging on in vitro release and in vivo bioavailability

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A polyglycolised glyceride carrier, Gelucire 50/13, was incorporated with paracetamol as a model drug, filled into hard gelatin capsules and stored at three different temperatures for various lengths of time. The resultant solidified matrix within the capsule was subjected to thermal analysis using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) to ascertain its supramolecular structure. Polymorphic transformations towards more stable gelucire forms were observed upon aging the matrices, with samples stored at a temperature near the melting range of the lower temperature gelucire melting fraction showing the most profound changes. The increase in the rate of drug release from aged samples could be correlated to the alterations to the supramolecular structure of the gelucire. Accelerated drug release from aged samples could also be seen from in vivo studies using healthy human volunteers, although the extent of absorption was not affected. Therefore, even though the sustainability of release may be compromised by aging the gelucire matrices, the bioavailability of the incorporated drug is unlikely to be affected.

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