Background: Enhanced utilization of certain drugs may be possible through the development
of alternative delivery forms. It has been observed that NSAIDs have adverse gastrointestinal
tract effects such as irritation and ulceration during anti-inflammatory therapy. This challenge may
be overcome through nano topical formulations.
Objective: This study aimed to explore the potentials of a transdermal nanovesicular formulation
for safe and enhanced delivery of piroxicam (PRX), a poorly water-soluble NSAID.
Methods: Preformulation studies were conducted using DSC and FTIR. Ethosomal nanovesicular
carrier (ENVC) was prepared by thin-film deposition technique using Phospholipon® 90 H (P90H)
and ethanol and then converted into gel form. The formulation was characterized using a commercial
PRX gel as control. Permeation studies were conducted using rat skin and Franz diffusion cell.
Samples were assayed spectrophotometrically, and the obtained data was analyzed by ANOVA using
GraphPad Prism software.
Results: The preformulation studies showed compatibility between PRX and P90H. Spherical vesicles
of mean size 343.1 ± 5.9 nm, and polydispersity index 0.510 were produced, which remained
stable for over 2 years. The optimized formulation (PE30) exhibited pseudoplastic flow, indicating
good consistency. The rate of permeation increased with time in the following order: PE30 > Commercial,
with significant difference (p< 0.05). It also showed higher inhibition of inflammation
(71.92 ± 9.67%) than the reference (64.12 ± 7.92%).
Conclusion: ENVC gel of PRX was formulated. It showed potentials for enhanced transdermal delivery
and anti-inflammatory activity relative to the reference. This may be further developed as a
safe alternative to the oral form.