Passive and iontophoretic transdermal delivery of phenobarbital: Implications in paediatric therapy

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The objective of this investigation was to evaluate phenobarbital transdermal delivery for possible use in paediatric care. In vitro experiments were performed using intact pig skin and barriers from which the stratum corneum had been stripped to different extents to model the less resistant skin of premature babies. Cathodal iontophoretic delivery of phenobarbital was superior to anodal transport and optimised delivery conditions were achieved by reduction of competing co-ion presence in the drug formulation. Phenobarbital transport across intact or partially compromised skin was controlled by iontophoresis which was more efficient than passive diffusion. Across highly compromised skin, however, passive diffusion increased drastically and iontophoretic control was lost. Overall, this study demonstrates the feasibility of phenobarbital transdermal delivery for paediatric patients.Graphical abstract

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