A comparison of spray drying and milling in the production of amorphous dispersions of sulfathiazole/polyvinylpyrrolidone and sulfadimidine/polyvinylpyrrolidone.Mol Pharm. 2011 Apr 04; 8(2):532-42.MP
Formulations containing amorphous active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) present great potential to overcome problems of limited bioavailability of poorly soluble APIs. In this paper, we directly compare for the first time spray drying and milling as methods to produce amorphous dispersions for two binary systems (poorly soluble API)/excipient: sulfathiazole (STZ)/polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) and sulfadimidine (SDM)/PVP. The coprocessed mixtures were characterized by powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and intrinsic dissolution tests. PXRD and DSC confirmed that homogeneous glassy solutions (mixture with a single glass transition) of STZ/PVP were obtained for 0.05 ≤ X(PVP) (PVP weight fraction) < 1 by spray drying and for 0.6 ≤ X(PVP) < 1 by milling (at 400 rpm), and homogeneous glassy solutions of SDM/PVP were obtained for 0 < X(PVP) < 1 by spray drying and for 0.7 ≤ X(PVP) < 1 by milling. For these amorphous composites, the value of T(g) for a particular API/PVP ratio did not depend on the processing technique used. Variation of T(g) versus concentration of PVP was monotonic for all the systems and matched values predicted by the Gordon-Taylor equation indicating that there are no strong interactions between the drugs and PVP. The fact that amorphous SDM can be obtained on spray drying but not amorphous STZ could not be anticipated from the thermodynamic driving force of crystallization, but may be due to the lower molecular mobility of amorphous SDM compared to amorphous STZ. The solubility of the crystalline APIs in PVP was determined and the activities of the two APIs were fitted to the Flory-Huggins model. Comparable values of the Flory-Huggins interaction parameter (χ) were determined for the two systems (χ = -1.8 for SDM, χ = -1.5 for STZ) indicating that the two APIs have similar miscibility with PVP. Zones of stability and instability of the amorphous dispersions as a function of composition and temperature were obtained from the Flory-Huggins theory and the Gordon-Taylor equation and were found to be comparable for the two APIs. Intrinsic dissolution studies in aqueous media revealed that dissolution rates increased in the following order: physical mix of unprocessed materials < physical mix of processed material < coprocessed materials. This last result showed that production of amorphous dispersions by co-milling can significantly enhance the dissolution of poorly soluble drugs to a similar magnitude as co-spray dried systems.