Development of medicated foams that combine incompatible hydrophilic and lipophilic drugs for psoriasis treatment
The focus was on the development of medicated foam for incorporation of two incompatible active agents for psoriasis treatment; i.e., lipophilic cholecalciferol, and hydrophilic salicylic acid. Emphasis was given to formulation of a propellant-free foam, with sufficient foaming properties, physical and chemical stability, and low irritancy potential to maintain relevance for later translation into clinical practice. Various excipients and concentrations were examined to achieve suitable foam stability parameters, viscoelasticity, and bubble-size, which relate to foamability and spreadability. The major positive impact on these properties was through a combination of surfactants, and by inclusion of a viscosity-modifying polymer. Incorporation of the incompatible drugs was then examined, noting the instability of cholecalciferol in an acidic environment, with the design aim to separate the drug distributions among the different foam phases. Cholecalciferol was stabilized in the emulsion-based foam, with at least a 30-fold lower degradation rate constant compared to its aqueous solution. The composition of the emulsion-based foam itself protected cholecalciferol from degradation, as well as the addition of the radical-scavenging antioxidant tocopheryl acetate to the oil phase. With the patient in mind, the irritancy potential was also examined, which was below the set limit that defines a non-irritant dermal product.