Diclofenac-β-cyclodextrin for colonic drug targeting:In vivoperformance in rats

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Graphical abstractThe aim of this in vivo study was to assess the ability of the prodrug conjugate diclofenac-β-cyclodextrin to release diclofenac in the colon following oral administration, using sulfapyridine (a metabolite of sulfasalazine) as a marker of colonic absorption. Two groups of rats were used; the test rats received a suspension containing the two prodrugs, diclofenac-β-cyclodextrin and sulfasalazine, while the control rats received a suspension containing the corresponding free drugs, sodium diclofenac and sulfapyridine. The rats were fasted overnight with free access to water before and throughout the first 12 h of the study. Blood was collected from the tail vein at pre-determined time points and the plasma analyzed for the concentrations of diclofenac and sulfapyridine. Following the oral administration of the two prodrugs, a more extended absorption profile was observed and Cmax was achieved 10 h post-dose, in contrast to rapid absorption of the free drugs (tmax of diclofenac being 1.3 h, and that of sulfapyridine being 2.1 h). In addition to a later tmax, conjugation of diclofenac to β-cyclodextrin also resulted in a reduced Cmax and a reduced AUC. The same tmax for diclofenac-β-cyclodextrin as for sulfasalazine confirms the colonic metabolism of diclofenac-β-cyclodextrin. This study shows the potential of this new cyclodextrin-based prodrug to target and release diclofenac specifically in the colon following oral administration.

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