Capsicum fruit is used for treating skeletomuscular disorders as a counterirritant analgesic
around the globe. But its concentration-dependent irritation and concomitant withdrawal of therapy by
the patients hampers its therapeutic usefulness. In the present study, a novel nanolipid approach based
on elastic phospholipid vesicles was employed to encapsulate a semipurified extract of Bhut Jolokia for
topical drug delivery application. The working hypothesis was that encapsulation of irritant extract into
nanolipid vesicles may prevent the initial rejection of formulation and the elastic vesicles may facilitate
deeper skin penetration over a shorter time period. Surface response methodology was adopted to study
the effect of selected independent formulation variables on dependent variables like vesicle size and entrapment
efficacy. The prepared formulations were characterized for various physicochemical parameters.
The efficacy of the newly developed nonolipid vesicle formulation loaded with semipurified
extract of Bhut Jolokia was tested on carrageenan and formaldehyde-induced inflammation as well as
Freund’s adjuvant-induced arthritis model. The novel formulations were tested on human volunteers in
a Phase I clinical trial and were found to be acceptable. The study indicates that this strategy holds immense
potential for topical delivery of the bioactive from Bhut Jolokia and can pave the way for its
Keywords: Analgesic, arthritis, Bhut Jolokia, nanolipid vesicles, topical.
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