Agglomerates containing pantoprazole microparticles: Modulating the drug release

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Journal Article
AAPS PharmSciTech, 2009, 10 (2), pp. 335 - 345
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Pantoprazole-loaded microparticles were prepared using a blend of Eudragit® S100 and Methocel® F4M. The accelerated stability was carried out during 6 months at 40°C and 75% relative humidity. In order to improve technological characteristics of the pantoprazole-loaded microparticles, soft agglomerates were prepared viewing an oral delayed release and gastro-resistant solid dosage form. The agglomeration was performed by mixing the pantoprazole microparticles with spray-dried mannitol/lecithin powders. The effects of factors such as the amount of lecithin in the spray-dried mannitol/ lecithin powders and the ratio between pantoprazole microparticles and spray-dried mannitol/lecithin powders were evaluated. The pantoprazole-loaded microparticles present no significant degradation in 6 months. The agglomerates presented spherical shape, with smooth surface and very small quantity of non-agglomerated particles. The agglomerates presented different yields (35.5-79.0%), drug loading (58-101%), and mechanical properties (tensile strength varied from 44 to 69 mN mm-2), when the spray-dried mannitol/lecithin powders with different lecithin amounts were used. The biopharmaceutical characteristics of pantoprazole microparticles, i.e., their delayed-release properties, were not affected by the agglomeration process. The gastro-resistance of the agglomerates was affected by the amount of spray-dried mannitol/lecithin powders. The ratio of lecithin in the spray-dried mannitol/lecithin powders was the key factor in the agglomerate formation and in the drug release profiles. The agglomerates presenting better mechanical and biopharmaceutical characteristics were prepared with 1:2 (w/w) ratio of pantoprazole-loaded microparticles and mannitol/lecithin (80:20) powder. © American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists 2009.
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