Recrystallization of guaifenesin from hot-melt extrudates containing Acryl-EZE® or Eudragit® L100-55
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The physical stability of guaifenesin in melt-extruded acrylic matrix tablets was investigated. The initial study found that recrystallization was caused by guaifenesin supersaturation in Eudragit[Trademark] L100-55, and that the instability was confined to tablet surfaces. Drug release was not affected by crystal growth as guaifenesin is very water soluble. The addition of a polymer in which guaifenesin showed a higher solubility to the matrix blend decreased recrystallization on storage as supersaturation levels dropped. The second investigation identified heterogeneous nucleation as an additional factor in guaifenesin recrystallization. A quantitative assay showed that talc in matrix tablets accelerated the onset and extent of the recrystallization due to a nucleating effect on guaifenesin. Storage under elevated humidity conditions promoted recrystallization as well, but crystal growth was not correlated with water uptake, which implied a nucleating effect of moisture on guaifenesin. The third study investigated the effect of aqueous film-coating of the matrix tablets to stabilize amorphous guaifenesin using either hypromellose or ethylcellulose as coating polymers. The selection of the coating polymer influenced crystal morphology, and was a major factor in delaying the onset of crystallization, ranging from 1-3 weeks (ethylcellulose film-coatings) to 3-6 months (hypromellose film-coatings). Higher weight gains retarded recrystallization. Factors promoting drug and polymer diffusion, such as long curing times and elevated temperatures during both curing and storage, incomplete film coalescence and high core drug concentrations all resulted in an earlier onset of crystallization. The effects of single-screw extrusion (SSE) and twin-screw extrusion (TSE) of diltiazem hydrochloride and guaifenesin-containing blends in Eudragit[Trademark] L100-55 on drug morphology and dispersion were studied in the fourth project. Guaifenesin solubilized diltiazem hydrochloride, and plasticized Eudragit[Trademark] L100-55. Extrusion temperature influenced the drug morphology in single-screw extrudates, while TSE rendered all formulations amorphous due to higher dispersive mixing capabilities. Drug distribution improved with extrusion temperature and by TSE over SSE. Homogeneous matrices showed the slowest drug release at pH 1.0. Recrystallization was inversely correlated to drug distribution. In conclusion, the physical stability of guaifenesin in hot melt-extruded acrylic matrix tablets was shown to be affected by formulation, processing and post-processing factors.