Evaluation of the pharmaceutical availability of erythromycin from topical formulations

by Mandimika, N.

Abstract (Summary)
Erythromycin (ERY) is a macrolide antibiotic which is used in the treatment of acne vulgaris.Acne is a common skin condition that occurs when the sebaceous glands and hair shafts become infected by the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes. Acne is a chronic condition that may last for years and the severity of the effects of the disease on patients is often undermined especially in third world countries where more emphasis is placed on other more life-threatening diseases. It may cause considerable physical and emotional distress to sufferers along with the possibility of permanent scarring. Although use of topical ERY formulations is not the first line of treatment it has proven to be effective in treating inflammation of skin and skin structures cause by the responsible bacteria. To-date there are a variety of vehicles which are used in preparing topical ERY formulations namely ointment and gel bases, alcoholic solutions and pledgets. All the gel formulations on the market contain hydroxypropyl cellulose, alcohol and water along with the active ingredient(s). However, some gel formulations contain propylene glycol in addition to these excipients an example being Emgel®. Propylene glycol has been shown to affect the penetration of topically applied drugs through the skin suggesting that it would be highly likely that those formulations which contain propylene glycol may release more ERY into the skin following application. With this in mind, two ERY gel formulations were produced which contained different percentages of propylene glycol. According to the FDA guidelines, pharmacokinetic measurements in blood, plasma and/or urine of topical dermatological drug products are not feasible to document bioequivalence since the active ingredient(s) in topical formulations is/are not intended to be absorbed into the systemic circulation and in addition, concentrations in extracutaneous biological tissues would generally not be measurable. This limits determination of bioavailability and assessment of bioequivalence of such products to pharmacodynamic measurements, clinical trials and dermatopharmacokinetic (DPK) measurements such as tape stripping (TS) and microdialysis (MD).TS is a sampling technique which involves sequential removal of layers of the stratum corneum using strips of adhesive tape. This technique has found increasing use in DPK studies for investigation of drug kinetics in the skin following the application of a topical formulation. The technique has also been used as a diagnostic tool in assessing the quality of the stratum corneum in diseased skin. In the current research study, the tape stripping technique was used to investigate the pharmaceutical/biological availability of topical gel formulations containing ERY. MD is another DPK sampling technique which has been used to determine the amount of a topically applied drug that penetrates through the stratum corneum to reach deeper tissues of the skin. The in vivo sampling technique involves the insertion of microdialysis probes beneath the skin surface in the dermal tissue and allows for real-time sampling of the analyte at its target site. Recently in vitro MD has also been successfully used to assess the pharmaceutical availability of a topical corticosteroid, mometesone furoate, from topical formulations. Based on this work, microdialysis was used to determine the pharmaceutical availability of ERY from gel formulations which were developed for use in this research. The results of the pharmaceutical availability of ERY from in vivo tape stripping studies and the in vitro microdialysis studies were compared to establish correlation between the data. Pharmaceutical equivalence and bioequivalence data obtained from the respective studies on the gel formulations were investigated by statistical analysis of the data generated from both the in vitro and in vivo experiments. In summary the objectives of this research were: 1. To develop and validate a high performance liquid chromatography method suitable to analyse ERY concentrations obtained from in vitro microdialysis studies and in vivo tape stripping studies. 2. To prepare two different ERY gel formulations with different percentage content of propylene glycol. 3. To determine the pharmaceutical availability of ERY from two different gel formulations using in vitro microdialysis. 4. To develop and validate a tape stripping technique which could be used to determine percutaneous penetration and bioequivalence of the gel formulations. 5. To compare in vitro microdialysis and in vivo tape stripping data and attempt to establish a correlation between the two different approaches.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Rhodes University

School Location:South Africa

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:faculty of pharmacy


Date of Publication:01/01/2008

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