Pharmaceutical development and technology

Sorption of antimicrobial agents in blow-fill-seal packs.

PMID 20887236


The present work studies the interaction of methyl paraben (MPB) and propyl paraben (PPB), two widely used antimicrobial agents in multi-dose ophthalmic formulations, with 5 mL, low density polyethylene (LDPE) and polypropylene (PP) blow-fill-seal (BFS) packs, by subjecting the systems to accelerated stability conditions of 40°C/25% RH. The effect of pH, paraben concentration, and relative humidity (RH) on the sorption loss of both the parabens was studied. Additionally, the effects of buffer species and buffer strength on MPB sorption were studied. LDPE packs showed significantly higher loss compared to PP packs which showed < 5% loss in all cases. PPB showed a significantly higher loss (40-50%) than MPB (9-16%) in LDPE. pH (3.0, 5.0, 7.0) did not have a statistically significant effect on sorption. However, concentration, humidity and buffer at pH 7 affected paraben sorption. The application of the power law suggested that the MPB followed non-Fickian diffusion while PPB showed non-Fickian to Case II diffusion in LDPE packs. In conclusion, caution should be exercised while using parabens in LDPE BFS packs because substantial losses of the antimicrobial agent during the shelf-life can compromise the preservative effectiveness against 'in-use' contamination.