International Journal of Pharmaceutics vol:249 issue:1-2 pages:45-58
Solid dispersion literature, describing the mechanism of dissolution of drug-polyethylene glycol dispersions, still shows some gaps; (A). only few studies include experiments evaluating solid solution formation and the particle size of the drug in the dispersion particles, two factors that can have a profound effect on the dissolution. (B). Solid dispersion preparation involves a recrystallisation process (which is known to be highly sensitive to the recrystallisation conditions) of polyethylene glycol and possibly also of the drug. Therefore, it is of extreme importance that all experiments are performed on dispersion aliquots, which can be believed to be physico-chemical identical. This is not always the case. (C). Polyethylene glycol 6000 (PEG6000) crystallises forming lamellae with chains either fully extended or folded once or twice depending on the crystallisation conditions. Recently, a high resolution differential scanning calorimetry (DSC)-method, capable of evaluating qualitatively and quantitatively the polymorphic behaviour of PEG6000, has been reported. Unraveling the relationship between the polymorphic behavior of PEG6000 in a solid dispersion and the dissolution characteristics of that dispersion, is a real gain to our knowledge of solid dispersions, since this has never been thoroughly investigated. The aim of the present study was to fill up the three above mentioned gaps in solid dispersion literature. Therefore, physical mixtures and solid dispersions were prepared and in order to unravel the relationship between their physico-chemical properties and dissolution characteristics, pure drugs (diazepam, temazepam), polymer (PEG6000), solid dispersions and physical mixtures were characterised by DSC, X-ray powder diffraction (Guinier and Bragg-Brentano method), FT-IR spectroscopy, dissolution and solubility experiments and the particle size of the drug in the dispersion particles was estimated using a newly developed method. Addition of PEG6000 improves the dissolution rate of both drugs. Mechanisms involved are solubilisation and improved wetting of the drug in the polyethylene glycol rich micro-environment formed at the surface of drug crystals after dissolution of the polymer. Formulation of solid dispersions did not further improve the dissolution rate compared with physical mixtures. X-ray spectra show that both drugs are in a highly crystalline state in the solid dispersions, while no significant changes in the lattice spacings of PEG6000 indicate the absence of solid solution formation. IR spectra show the absence of a hydrogen bonding interaction between the benzodiazepines and PEG6000. Furthermore, it was concluded that the reduction of the mean drug particle size by preparing solid dispersions with PEG6000 is limited and that the influence of the polymorphic behavior of PEG6000 (as observed by DSC) on the dissolution was negligible.