International journal of pharmaceutics

Wax-based sustained release matrix pellets prepared by a novel freeze pelletization technique II. In vitro drug release studies and release mechanisms.

PMID 18495391


A novel freeze pelletization technique was evaluated for the preparation of wax-based sustained release matrix pellets. Pellets containing water-soluble drugs were successfully prepared using a variety of waxes. The drug release significantly depended on the wax type used and the aqueous drug solubility. The drug release decreased as the hydrophobicity of wax increased and the drug release increased as the aqueous drug solubility increased. In glyceryl monostearate (GMS) pellets, drug release rate decreased as the loading of theophylline increased. On the contrary, the release rate increased as the drug loading of diltiazem HCl increased in Precirol pellets. Theophylline at low drug loads existed in a dissolved state in GMS pellets and the release followed desorption kinetics. At higher loads, theophylline existed in a crystalline state and the release followed dissolution-controlled constant release for all the waxes studied. However, with the addition of increasing amounts of Brij 76, theophylline release rate increased and the release mechanism shifted to diffusion-controlled square root time kinetics. But the release of diltiazem HCl from Precirol pellets at all drug loads, followed diffusion-controlled square root time kinetics. Therefore, pellets capable of providing a variety of release profiles for different drugs can be prepared using this freeze pelletization technique by suitably modifying the pellet forming matrix compositions.