Tableting of hot-melt coated paracetamol granules: Material tableting properties and quality characteristics of the obtained tablets

Hot-melt coating (HMC) has been recognized as a promising technique in the production of solid dosage forms e.g., HMC of granules can be applied prior to compression in order to obtain modified drug release or taste masking. However, tableting properties of HMC granules have not been studied yet. In this work, we explored the influence of the lipid coating on granules tableting properties, and assessed quality attributes of the obtained tablets. Paracetamol granules, previously coated with the lipid excipient Precirol® ATO 5 using a hot-melt coating technique in modified fluidized-bed system, were evaluated in terms of work of compression, elastic recovery, tablets tensile strength, detachment stress and ejection stress.

Regarding the product quality, tablets content uniformity, friability, disintegration time and drug release properties were tested. Our results demonstrated that tablets made of coated granules exhibited more pronounced elastic behaviour, and increased tensile strength in comparison to tablets made of uncoated granules, suggesting that lipid coating promotes elastic deformation and forms lipid matrix within the tablets. Additionally, low detachment and ejection stresses for tablets made of HMC granules indicated no need to add lubricant prior to tableting process. Evaluation of tablets properties revealed that tablets friability was not influenced by the presence of lipid coating on the compressed granules.

However, formation of lipid matrix within the tablets made of HMC granules resulted in prolonged tablet disintegration time, and sustained drug release. Moreover, the performance of lipid matrix tablets, in terms of drug dissolution rate, was relatively insensitive to compression pressure variations in 104–173 MPa range. The obtained results indicate that tableting of HMC granules is a promising technique to obtain sustained release lipid matrix tablets of suitable pharmaceutical-technical properties. More on hotmelt coating of paracetamol


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