Chitosan beads as a delivery vehicle for the antituberculosis drug pyrazinamide
Havenga, John Botha
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Controlled release systems aim at achieving a predictable and reproducible drug release profile over a desired time period. These controlled release formulations offer many advantages over conventional dosage forms. These advantages include: reduced dosing intervals, constant drug levels in the blood, increased patient compliance and decreased adverse effects. Complex controlled release formulations such as those with sustained release properties, often require additional steps during the production phase. The cost and economic impact associated with these complex controlled release dosage formulations often outweigh the short term benefits. Thus the development of an economic method to produce controlled release particles is of great importance especially in third world countries. In controlled release formulations the drug is often equally dispersed throughout a polymer matrix. In the presence of a thermodynamically compatible solvent, swelling occurs and the polymer releases its content to the surrounding medium. The rate of drug release can be controlled by interfering with the amount of swelling and rate of diffusion by manipulating the viscosity of the polymer matrix. Chitosan is an ideal candidate for controlled drug delivery through matrix release systems. It is a biodegradable polymer with absorption-enhancing properties. Cross-linking chitosan with different cross-linking agents allow the preparation of beads. Beads are frequently used in controlled release dosage forms as they are very flexible in dosage form development and show various advantages over single unit dosage forms. Because beads disperse freely in the gastrointestinal tract they maximize drug absorption, reduce fluctuation in peak plasma, and minimize potential side effects without lowering drug bio-availability. Chitosan beads and excipient containing chitosan beads were prepared and investigated as possible controlled release formulations. Pyrazinamide was chosen as the model drug. Chitosan beads and excipient containing chitosan beads were prepared by ionotropic gelation in tripolyphosphate. In this study chitosan/pyrazinamide beads containing pharmaceutical excipients (Ascorbic acid, Explotab and Ac-Di-Sol) were produced. The excipients were added individually and in combinations to the chitosadpyrazinamide dispersion and the beads were characterized on the basis of their morphology, solubility, fiability, drug loading capacity and swelling behaviour, as well as drug release (dissolution properties). The drug loading of the pyrazinarnide loaded chitosan beads, was 52.26 % 0.57%. It was noted that the inclusion of excipients in the beads resulted in an increase in drug loading with the combination of Ascorbic acid and Ac-Di-Sol giving the highest drug loading of 67.09 ± 0.22%. It was expected that the addition of the pharmaceutical excipients would lead to a sustained release of pyrazinamide. Dissolutions studies, however, revealed a burst release in both phosphate buffer solution (PBS) pH 5.60 and 7.40 over the first 15 minutes and the curve reached a plateau after 30 minutes. Thus, apparently the inclusion of the pharmaceutical excipients did not contribute to a sustained release of pyrazinamide over the tested period of six hours. In future studies the dissolution time can possibly be extended to a period of 24 hours. It might be possible for the remaining drug (approximately 40%) in the beads to be released over the extended period. Other polymers can also be investigated to control the release of pyrazinamide. Further studies are, however, necessary to investigate this possibility in the future.
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