Dihydroergotamine mesylate-loaded dissolving microneedle patch made of polyvinylpyrrolidone for management of acute migraine therapy

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Migraine is a widespread neurological disease with negative effects on quality of life and productivity. Moderate to severe acute migraine attacks can be treated with dihydroergotamine mesylate (DHE), an ergot derivative that is especially effective in non-responders to triptan derivatives. To overcome limitations of current DHE formulations in subcutaneous injection and nasal spray such as pain, adverse side effects and poor bioavailability, a new approach is needed for DHE delivery enabling painless self-administration, quick onset of action, and high bioavailability. In this study, we developed a dissolving microneedle patch (MNP) made of polyvinylpyrrolidone, due to its high aqueous solubility and solubility enhancement properties, using a MNP design previously shown to be painless and simple to administer. DHE-loaded MNPs were shown to have a content uniformity of 108 ± 9% with sufficient mechanical strength for insertion to pig skin ex vivo and dissolution within 2 min. In vivo pharmacokinetic studies were carried out on hairless rats, and DHE plasma levels were determined by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The area under curve (AUC) value after DHE delivery by MNP (1259 ± 917 ng/mL min) was not significantly different (p > 0.05) as compared to subcutaneous injection, with a relative bioavailability of 97%. Also, appreciable plasma levels of DHE were seen within 5 min for both delivery methods and tmax value of MNPs (38 ± 23 min) showed no significant difference (p > 0.05) compared to subcutaneous injection (24 ± 13 min). These results suggest that DHE-loaded MNPs have promise as an alternative DHE delivery method that can be painlessly self-administered with rapid onset and high bioavailability.

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