Drug development and industrial pharmacy

Sustained-release pellets of nifedipine using microcrystals combined with MCC-based matrix.

PMID 24320880


The purpose of this study was to prepare sustained-release pellets of nifedipine (NSPs) based on MCC matrix. Wet-milling and extrusion-spheronization techniques were employed to prepare the microcrystals and pellets, respectively. The drug release mechanism and the influencing factors were investigated. After milled with HPMC (E5), the mean particle size of nifedipine in co-grinding mixture (CGM) was 5 μm, which is 15-fold smaller than that of raw material. DSC, X-ray powder diffraction and microscopic observation confirmed the microcrystals of drug were maintained in the CGM. With increased milling time and the content of HPMC, the dissolution rate was greatly enhanced compared with the raw material. The NSPs prepared by MCC and the CGM, which was obtained by cogrinding nifedipine with 5% HPMC solution for 210 min, exhibited sustained release pattern within 8 h. Nifedipine release from MCC-based NSPs followed the Korsmeyer model and closely related to the microstructure of pellet. High stability of NSPs was confirmed after 6 months of accelerated stability test. Using commercially available sustained product as reference, bioequivalence study in beagle dogs was executed and two formulations were bioequivalent. This sustained release pellet formulation of nifedipine was advantageous with convenient and easy scaled-up preparation process.