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Cetirizine from topical phosphatidylcholine-hydrogenated liposomes: evaluation of peripheral antihistaminic activity and systemic absorption in a rabbit model.

The AAPS journal (2005-03-12)
Abeer A W Elzainy, Xiaochen Gu, F Estelle R Simons, Keith J Simons
ABSTRACT

Cetirizine, an effective, minimally sedating, second-generation H1-antihistamine is widely used orally to treat allergic skin disorders. This study was performed to assess the peripheral H1-antihistaminic activity and extent of systemic absorption of cetirizine from liposomes applied to the skin. Cetirizine was incorporated into small unilamellar vesicles (SUV) and multilamellar vesicles (MLV) prepared using L-alpha-phosphatidylcholine hydrogenated (HPC), and into Glaxal Base (GB) as the control. In a randomized, crossover study, each formulation, containing 10 mg of cetirizine, was applied to the depilated backs of 6 rabbits (3.08 +/- 0.05 kg). Histamine-induced wheal tests and blood sampling were performed before cetirizine application and at designated times for up to 24 hours afterwards. Compared with baseline, histamine-induced wheal formation was suppressed by cetirizine in SUV only at 24 hours, in MLV from 0.5 to 24 hours, and in GB from 0.5 to 8 hours (P < or = .05). Wheal suppression by cetirizine in SUV at 24 hours (91.7% +/- 5.2%) and in MLV from 1 to 24 hours (93.8% +/- 2.2% to 76.2% +/- 6.5%) was greater than in GB (36.5% +/- 7.4% to 60.6% +/- 14.2%) from 1 to 24 hours (P < or = .05). Faster onset, as well as greater and more persistent suppression was obtained from cetirizine in MLV. Plasma cetirizine concentrations from MLV (area under the curve [AUC] of 221.2 +/- 42.3 ng x hr/mL) were lower than from GB (AUC of 248.3 +/- 34.6 ng.hr/mL). In this model, cetirizine from MLV had excellent topical H(1)-antihistamine activity, while systemic exposure was reduced, compared with cetirizine from GB.