Exploring the Role of Surfactants in Enhancing Drug Release from Amorphous Solid Dispersions at Higher Drug Loadings
To reduce the dosage size of amorphous solid dispersion (ASD)-based formulations, it is of interest to devise formulation strategies that allow increased drug loading (DL) without compromising dissolution performance. The aim of this study was to explore how surfactant addition impacts drug release as a function of drug loading from a ternary ASD, using felodipine as a model poorly soluble compound.
The addition of 5% TPGS (d-α-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol 1000 succinate, a surfactant) to felodipine-polyvinylpyrrolidone/vinyl acetate ASDs was found to facilitate rapid and congruent (i.e., simultaneous) release of drug and polymer at higher DLs relative to binary ASDs (drug and polymer only). For binary ASDs, good release was observed for DLs up to <20% DL; this increased to 35% DL with surfactant. Microstructure evolution in ASD films following exposure to 100% relative humidity was studied using atomic force microscopy coupled with nanoscale infrared imaging. The formation of discrete, spherical drug-rich domains in the presence of surfactant appeared to be linked to systems showing congruent and rapid release of drug and polymer.
In contrast, a contiguous drug-rich phase was formed for systems without surfactant at higher DLs. This study supports the addition of surfactant to ASD formulations as a strategy to increase DL without compromising release. Furthermore, insights into the potential role of surfactant in altering ASD release mechanisms are provided.
Article information: Saboo, S.; Bapat, P.; Moseson, D.E.; Kestur, U.S.; Taylor, L.S. Exploring the Role of Surfactants in Enhancing Drug Release from Amorphous Solid Dispersions at Higher Drug Loadings. Pharmaceutics 2021, 13, 735. https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13050735