Nanoemulsions and thermosensitive nanoemulgels of phenytoin and fosphenytoin for intranasal administration: Formulation development and in vitro characterization.Eur J Pharm Sci 2020; 141:105099EJ
Phenytoin is a low solubility anticonvulsant drug. It has, nonetheless, other possible therapeutic indications, such as neuropathic pain, including trigeminal neuralgia, or wound healing. Its use has decreased due to side effects, but nasal/intranasal administration could significantly increase drug safety and efficacy. The aim of this work was to develop and study nanoemulsions and thermosensitive nanoemulgels of phenytoin and fosphenytoin, in combination, for intranasal administration, with immediate and sustained release profiles. Nanoemulsions were prepared by adding the aqueous phase, containing gelling polymers in the case of nanoemulgels, to emulsion preconcentrates, followed, in the optimized procedure, by premix membrane emulsification. Formulation design and optimization was guided by drug strength, rheological behavior, osmolality, mean droplet size and polydispersity. Fosphenytoin interfered significantly with Carbopol but not with Pluronic's gelation, and allowed to achieve drug strengths equivalent to 22 or 27 mg/g of phenytoin in lead nanoemulsions, and 16.7 mg/g of phenytoin in the lead nanoemulgel. The final selected low viscosity nanoemulsions had an immediate or prolonged fosphenytoin release profile, depending of anhydrous phase proportion (10% or 40%, respectively). The thermosensitive nanoemulgel, with 10% anhydrous phase, showed prolonged drug release. Future studies will establish whether they are more suited for topical effects or therapeutic brain delivery.