Background: Bitter tasting drugs represent a large portion of active pharmaceutical ingredients.
Mini-tablets are specifically designed for patients with difficulty in swallowing particular in
young children up to 10 years of age, geriatric patients and patients with esophagitis.
Objective: The present study was aimed to prepare, taste-masked mini-tablets, which are easily swallowed
dosage forms, primarily to be used by pediatric and geriatric patients.
Methods: Ketoprofen (10%-50% w/w) and Eudragit® EPO were blended and extruded with a 5-mm strand die and cut
into consistent mini-tablets by using an adapted downstream pelletizer.
Results: Differential scanning calorimetry and polarized light microscopy-hot stage microscopy studies confirmed that the
binary mixtures were miscible under the employed extrusion temperatures. In-vitro release studies showed that drug release
was less than 0.5% within the first 2 min in simulated salivary fluid (pH 6.8) and more than 90% in the first 20 min
in gastric media (pH 1.0). The results of the electronic tongue analysis were well correlated with the drug release profile
of the mini-tablets in the artificial saliva. Scanning electron microscopy revealed no cracks on the surface of the minitablets,
confirming that the mini-tablets were compact solids. Chemical imaging confirmed the uniform distribution of ketoprofen
inside the polymer matrices.
Conclusion: Eudragit® EPO containing ketoprofen at various drug loads were successfully melt extruded into tastedmasked
mini-tablets. The reduced drug release at salivary pH correlated well with Astree e-Tongue studies for taste masking