Preparation and evaluation of ziprasidone–phospholipid complex from sustained-release pellet formulation with enhanced bioavailability and no food effect

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The purpose of this work was to develop ziprasidone–phospholipid complex (ZIP-PLC) in sustained-release pellets to enhance the oral bioavailability and overcome the food effect of ziprasidone.


Ziprasidone–phospholipid complex was formulated by solvent-evaporation method. The complexes were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) and solubility testing. The optimized ZIP-PLC was used to prepare ZIP-PLC sustained-release pellets via extrusion–spheronization method. The pellets were characterized by in vitro drug-release studies and administered to fasted and fed beagle dogs, and their pharmacokinetics were compared with commercial formulation Zeldox capsule as a control.

Key findings

The results of FTIR, SEM, DSC and PXRD studies confirmed the formation of phospholipid complex. Solubility studies showed there was a higher solubility in water for ZIP-PLC than monohydrate ziprasidoe. The in vitro release rate of ziprasidone from the ZIP-PLC sustained-release pellet exhibited controlled-release characteristics with over 95% total release in 12 h. Pharmacokinetic studies in beagle dogs showed ziprasidone with prolong actions, and no food effect was achieved simultaneously in ZIP-PLC sustained-release pellet compared with Zeldox capsule.


The results indicated a sustained release with prolonged actions of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder treatment.

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