3D printed dispersible efavirenz tablets: A strategy for nasogastric administration in children

Enteral feeding tubes (EFTs) can be placed in children diagnosed with HIV which need nutritional support due to malnutrition. EFTs are the main route for medication administration in these patients, bringing up concerns about off label use of medicines, dose inaccuracy and tube clogging. Here we report for the first time the use of selective laser sintering (SLS) 3D printing to develop efavirenz (EFZ) dispersible printlets for patients with HIV that require EFT administration.

Water soluble polymers Parteck® MXP and Kollidon® VA64 were used to obtain both 500 mg (P500 and K500) and 1000 mg printlets (P1000 and K1000) containing 200 mg of EFZ each. The use of SLS 3D printing obtained porous dosage forms with high drug content (20 % and 40 % w/w) and drug amorphization using both polymers. P500, K500 and K1000 printlets reached disintegration in under 230 s in 20 mL of water (25 ± 1 °C), whilst P1000 only partially disintegrated, possibly due to saturation of the polymer in the medium.

As a result, the development of dispersible EFZ printlets using hydrophilic polymers can be explored as a potential strategy for drug delivery through EFTs in paediatrics with HIV, paving the way towards the exploration of more rapidly disintegrating polymers and excipients for SLS 3D printing.

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The polymer Parteck® MXP 4–88 (polyvinyl alcohol, hydrolysis grade of 88 %, Mw 32,000 g/mol) was kindly donated by Merck (Darmstadt, Germany) and Kollidon® VA64 (copolymer of N-vinylpyrrolidone and vinyl acetate − molar ratio of 6:4, Mw 45,000 – 70,000 g/mol) acquired from BASF (Ludwigshafen, Germany). The colorant Candurin® Gold Sheen was purchased from Merck (Darmstadt, Germany) and the drug efavirenz from Zhejiang Jiangbei Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Zhejiang, China).

Nadine Lysyk Funk, Patricija Januskaite, Ruy Carlos Ruver Beck, Abdul W. Basit, Alvaro Goyanes, 3D printed dispersible efavirenz tablets: A strategy for nasogastric administration in children, International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Volume 660, 2024, 124299, ISSN 0378-5173, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpharm.2024.124299.

Read also our introduction article on 3D Printing here:

3D Printing
3D Printing
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