Relationship between drug dissolution and leaching of plasticizer for pellets coated with an aqueous Eudragit S100:L100 dispersion.Int J Pharm. 2006 Oct 12; 323(1-2):11-7.IJ
In order to investigate the relationship between drug dissolution and leaching of plasticizer, theophylline pellets coated with 30% (w/w) Eudragit S100:L100 (1:1) plasticized with different levels of triethyl citrate (TEC) were prepared. The influence of storage conditions on the dissolution profile of theophylline and leaching of TEC was determined. Theophylline was found to dissolve completely from pellets coated with Eudragit S100:L100 (1:1) plasticized with 50% TEC at pH 6.0 after 2h. The shape of the pellets was maintained during dissolution testing. Cracks due to the leaching of TEC were observed in the scanning electron micrographs (SEMs) following dissolution testing at pH 6.0. Both the dissolution of theophylline and the leaching of TEC decreased during storage due to further coalescence of the acrylic polymers. The dissolution profiles of theophylline showed a biphasic pattern and the lag times were estimated as the time points at which a second, rapid release of theophylline was initiated. Subsequently, the percent of TEC leached at the lag time was calculated. While the lag time was increased by storage time and humidity, the percent of TEC leached at the lag time was unchanged as a function of storage condition and was dependent on the initial TEC levels in the films. In conclusion, the plasticizer content in the film coating influenced the dissolution profile of theophylline from pellets coated with Eudragit S100:L100 (1:1). A large amount of the TEC was leached from the enteric films before drug release was initiated and a TEC level of approximately 30% in the films, based on the polymer weight, was the critical amount of TEC for initiating drug release during dissolution testing at pH 6.0. While enteric films are more soluble and dissolve faster at higher pH values, the kinetics of plasticizer release was one of the important factors controlling the dissolution of drugs at pH 6.0, at which pH the enteric polymers were insoluble.