Background: Meloxicam (MLX) is classified as NSAID that is used for the treatment of
rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Poor water solubility of MLX leads to its slow oral absorption
and slow onset. Preparation of solid dispersion (SD) could improve the water solubility of poorly water
soluble drugs. It has been demonstrated that orally disintegrating tablets (ODTs) show faster onset of
action and could be more appropriate for the treatment of acute pain.
Method: The purpose of this study is to improve the solubility of MLX through the preparation of its
SD and then decrease the onset of action by preparation of ODTs from prepared SD. MLX SDs were
prepared by solvent evaporation method. MLX, polyvinylpyrrolidone k30 (PVP k30), crospovidone
and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) with different ratios were dispersed in molten menthol as solvent.
Menthol was separated by freeze drying. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray diffraction
(XRD) analysis approved amorphous form of MLX in SDs.
Result: The optimum SD with highest saturation solubility in water (12.60±1.2 microgram/ml) which
consists of MLX, PVP, crospovidone and SLS in a ratio of 1:1:1:0.03 was used for the preparation of
MLX ODTs. ODTs were prepared by direct compression method and optimized by 23 factorial design.
The effect of the superdisintegrant concentration, mannitol/avicel ratio and the level of compression
force was evaluated on the disintegration time, hardness and percent of dissolved MLX after 30 min of
prepared MLX ODTs. The optimized ODT formulation contained 10% superdisintegrant, mannitol and
avicel a ratio of 2:1 compressed using a high level of compression force.
Conclusion: Optimized ODT showed hardness (48±4.3 N) and friability (0.81±0.07%). This formulation
provided rapid disintegration in 19±2 seconds of which 77.8±5.1% of drug was released within 30
minutes. The present study demonstrated an effective method for the preparation of suitable dosage
form of MLX with improved solubility and onset of action.