Implications of plasticization on the properties of hot-melt extruded oral dosage forms
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The influence of plasticization and other formulation factors on the properties of hot-melt extruded dosage forms for the controlled release of water-soluble active compounds was investigated. Citric acid monohydrate was demonstrated to function as a solid-state plasticizer in hot-melt extruded Eudragit® RS PO tablets and in cast films when concentrations below the compatibility limit were employed. Melting of the organic acid and solubilization in the polymer during extrusion were necessary to observe the plasticizing effect. The release rate of diltiazem hydrochloride, used as a high-melting, water-soluble model drug, from melt extruded Eudragit® RS PO matrix tablets increased and became independent of the original drug particle size in the presence of citric acid monohydrate. Thermal analysis of physical mixtures demonstrated that citric acid promoted drug melting during extrusion by interaction and melting point depression. Diltiazem hydrochloride remained amorphous in the final dosage form, and leaching of citric acid monohydrate enhanced drug diffusion by increasing the matrix porosity. Delayed-release matrix pellets with particle sizes below one mm were prepared by hot-melt extrusion, and the influence of the matrix forming polymer and the type and level of plasticizer on the processibility and release properties was investigated. Pellets complied with the USP requirement for delayed release articles to release less than 10% drug at pH 1.2 after 2 hours when plasticized Eudragit® S100 was used as the release-controlling material. High levels of efficient plasticizers had to be employed to decrease the polymeric melt viscosity, increase the process yield and enable extrusion at moderate temperatures to avoid instabilities during processing and storage. The aqueous solubility of the plasticizer further impacted the drug release rate in acid. A novel application of hot-melt extrusion for the preparation of monolithic matrices comprising enteric coated particles was studied. The influence of the mechanical strength of the multiparticulates, pellet loading and nature of the hydrophilic carrier material on the preservation of the delayed-release properties after extrusion was investigated. Soft particles coated with brittle films remained intact when low-melting carriers that did not solubilize the enteric film during extrusion were used, and the dissolution profile was stable over one year.