Bilayered buccal films as child-appropriate dosage form for systemic administration of propranolol
07. September 2017
Buccal mucosa has emerged as an attractive site for systemic administration of drug in paediatric patients. This route is simple and non-invasive, even if the saliva wash-out effect and the relative permeability of the mucosa can reduce drug absorption. Mucoadhesive polymers represent a common employed strategy to increase the contact time of the formulation at the application site and to improve drug absorption. Among the different mucoadhesive dosage forms, buccal films are particularly addressed for paediatric population since they are thin, adaptable to the mucosal surface and able to offer an exact and flexible dose. The objective of the present study was to develop bilayered buccal films for the release of propranolol hydrochloride. A primary polymeric layer was prepared by casting and drying of solutions of film-forming polymers, such as polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) or polyvinylalcohol (PVA), added with different weight ratios of gelatin (GEL) or chitosan (CH). In order to achieve unidirectional drug delivery towards buccal mucosa, a secondary ethylcellulose layer was applied onto the primary layer. Bilayered films were characterized for their physico-chemical (morphology, thickness, drug content and solid state) and functional (water uptake, mucoadhesion, drug release and permeation) properties. The inclusion of CH into PVP and PVA primary layer provided the best mucoadhesion ability. Films containing CH provided a lower drug release with respect to films containing GEL and increased the amount of permeated drug through buccal mucosa, thanks to its ability of interfering with the lipid organization. The secondary ethylcellulose layer did not interfere with drug permeation, but it could limit drug release in the buccal cavity.