Investigation of itraconazole ternary amorphous solid dispersions based on povidone and Carbopol

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We investigate a ternary system that consists of itraconazole (ITZ) and two polymers: povidone K12 and Carbopol 907. The interactions between these two polymers and their effects on the properties of ternary ITZ amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs) are studied. These two polymers can form a water-insoluble complex in acidic aqueous media. The critical pH is determined to be 4.17. The weight percentage of Carbopol 907 in the interpolymer complex range from 59 to 70%, depending on the initial ratios between these two polymers in the starting solutions. This complexation is driven by a negative enthalpy change from the H-bonding between the two polymers and a positive entropy change from the freed water molecules. Due to the slow precipitation of the interpolymer complex in aqueous media, the attempt to prepare ternary ASD using solvent-controlled coprecipitation is not successful. Melt extrusion is identified to be the only viable method to prepare this ternary ASD. We find that interpolymer complex–based ASDs are physically less stable and demonstrate the poorest drug-release properties when compared to individual polymer-based binary ASDs. This study illustrates that the too strong interaction between polymers in ternary ASDs is detrimental to their performance.

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