A novel method for the investigation of drug formulations in limited liquid volumes is presented. The experimental setup consists of a measurement cell containing an absorbent sponge cloth placed between two parallel electrodes. Conductivity measurements are used to monitor the drug release from the dosage form. By varying the amount of water contained in the absorbent cloth surrounding the dosage form, it is possible to measure the drug release performance of the dosage form in very limited amounts of water. The method was employed to test four different tablet formulations consisting of the model drug NaCl incorporated in excipient matrices of hard fat, polyethylene glycol, microcrystalline cellulose and a mixture of microcrystalline cellulose and croscarmellose sodium (Ac-Di-Sol). The drug release rates of the different formulations in limited water volumes differed markedly from the release rates in an excess of water. Whereas the release rates from all tablet types in an excess of water showed only minor differences among the tablet types, the release rates from the tablets formulated with disintegrating excipients were clearly superior in limited water volumes. The developed method for drug release in limited volumes of liquid should be suitable for evaluation of rectal dosage forms.
Keywords: Drug release, Limited liquid volume, Conductance Measurements, MCC, PEG, Croscarmellose sodium, Ac-Di-Sol, suppository
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