Melt extrusion with poorly soluble drugs – An integrated review

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Abstract

Over the last few decades, hot melt extrusion (HME) has emerged as a successful technology for a broad spectrum of applications in the pharmaceutical industry. As indicated by multiple publications and patents, HME is mainly used for the enhancement of solubility and bioavailability of poorly soluble drugs. This review is focused on the recent reports on the solubility enhancement via HME and provides an update for the manufacturing/scaling up aspects of melt extrusion. In addition, drug characterization methods and dissolution studies are discussed. The application of process analytical technology (PAT) tools and use of HME as a continuous manufacturing process may shorten the drug development process; as a result, the latter is becoming the most widely utilized technique in the pharmaceutical industry. The advantages, disadvantages, and practical applications of various PAT tools such as near and mid-infrared, ultraviolet/visible, fluorescence, and Raman spectroscopies are summarized, and the characteristics of other techniques are briefly discussed. Overall, this review also provides an outline for the currently marketed products and analyzes the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of HME application in the pharmaceutical industry.

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