Use of compressed gas precipitation to enhance the dissolution behavior of a poorly water-soluble drug: Generation of drug microparticles and drug–polymer solid dispersions

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The classical anticonvulsant drug phenytoin (5,5-diphenyl hydantoin, C15H12N2O2) has been used as a model compound to investigate the possibility of enhancing the dissolution rate of poorly water-soluble drugs using dense gas antisolvent techniques. In a first step, microcrystals of neat phenytoin have been generated using the gas antisolvent (GAS) and precipitation with compressed antisolvent (PCA) processes, thereby assessing process performances and elucidating similarities and differences between the two techniques. In a second step, the PCA process has been used to generate solid dispersions of phenytoin in the hydrophilic polymer poly(vinyl-pyrrolidone)-K30 (PVP). In vitro dissolution results reveal a substantially better performance of the PCA-processed co-formulations compared to unprocessed phenytoin and to GAS- and PCA-precipitates of neat drug crystals. A comparison of the product quality of phenytoin–PVP co-formulations with solid dispersions obtained by spray drying convincingly underlines the potential of dense gas antisolvent techniques for the production of pharmaceutical formulations with enhanced oral bioavailability.

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