Pluronic-g-poly(acrylic acid) copolymers as novel excipients for site specific, sustained release tablets

Pluronic-g-poly(acrylic acid) copolymers as novel excipients for site specific, sustained release tablets
13 September 2005
Rafael Barreiro-Iglesias, Lev Bromberg, Marina Temchenko, T. Alan Hatton, Carmen Alvarez-Lorenzo and Angel Concheiro
European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Potential utility of copolymers comprising Pluronic? (PEO?PPO?PEO) surfactants covalently conjugated with poly(acrylic acid) (PAA) as excipients for sustained-release tablets was explored. Apparent particle density, particle size distribution, Carr index, thermal stability, and compression behavior of the Pluronic?PAA copolymers were characterized. Tablets prepared by direct compression of blends of Pluronic?PAA copolymers were evaluated on the basis of their thermomechanical profile, crushing strength, friability, and drug release properties. Small molecular weight drugs of aqueous solubility decreasing in the order theophylline > hydrochlorothiazide > nitrofurantoin were incorporated to the tablets. For comparison purposes, tablets were also prepared from PAA of Carbopol? 71G (C71G), and mixtures of C71G and Pluronic? F127, with each of the above three drugs. The Pluronic?PAA aggregates are stabilized by hydrophobic associations between poly(propylene oxide) (PPO) segments in aqueous solutions, and thus require higher ionization of the carboxylic groups to overcome the associations and swell. The swelling pattern of the Pluronic?PAA copolymers is more dramatically pH-dependent than that of Carbopol lacking any hydrophobic associations. The drug retention in and release from the Pluronic?PAA based tablets is profoundly pH-dependent and hence specific to the pH exceeding that of the pKa > 5 of these copolymers. Theophylline- and hydrochlorotiazide-containing tablets made with Pluronic?PAA copolymers showed a reduced release rate under acidic conditions compared to the neutral or alkaline conditions, while the opposite pattern was observed with the Carbopol-based tablets due to the different pH-dependent swelling behavior of the polymers. Nitrofurantoin-containing tablets showed a remarkably low drug release rate owing to the strong hydrophobic character of nitrofurantoin and of its complexes with the copolymers. Integrity of the nitrofurantoin-containing tablets was maintained during the 24 h release test. Zero-order kinetics of the cumulative release profile of all drugs under study was observed with the Pluronic?PAA as a tablet excipient. Adequate mechanical properties, the self-assembling behavior, and the pH-sensitiveness of the Pluronic?PAA copolymers make them promising excipients for tablets with preferential delivery into a neutral to alkaline pH environment.
Keywords: Pluronic?PAA copolymer; Theophylline; Hydrochlorothiazide; Nitrofurantoin; pH-sensitive; Controlled release tablets; Polymeric micelles
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