Understanding interactions of oleic acid with basic drugs in solid lipids on different biopharmaceutical levels
Recently, the impact of intestinal supersaturation on absorption of poorly water-soluble drugs has raised much interest among researchers. A focus has been mostly to study excipient effects on maintenance of drug supersaturation. The aim of the present study was to better understand the effects of drug-excipient interactions on the level of the anhydrous formulation, upon dispersion in simple buffer media and, in particular, regarding precipitation kinetics. A solid lipid-based formulation comprising PEG-32 stearate and oleic acid (OA) (8:2 w/w) was developed as a model. Loratadine (pKa = 4.33) and carvedilol (pKa = 8.74) were chosen as basic drugs. UV/FTIR spectroscopy and viscometry were used to characterize drug-OA molecular interactions in solution, while solid formulations were studied using x-ray diffraction, thermal analysis and van’t Hoff solubility-temperature plots. Precipitation kinetics of drug formulations was real-time monitored in phosphate buffer (pH = 6.5) by focused beam reflectance measurements. It was found that the addition of OA in the formulations resulted in substantial drug solubility increase. Although the drug-OA interactions appeared to be partially lost upon formulation dispersion, the extent of precipitation was markedly lowered compared to the formulations without OA. A Precipitation number (Pnc) was introduced as a ratio of a relevant residence time of drug in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) to the induction time (the onset time of crystalline precipitation). Without OA, Pnc was already taking critical values (>1), while the anhydrous formulation was still below saturation for both model drugs. Interestingly, the addition of OA resulted in amorphous instead of crystalline precipitates, which is advantageous for drug re-dissolution and absorption. In conclusion, this study provides an improved understanding of OA and basic drug interactions on different levels of in vitro performance for more rational oral formulation development.