AAPS PharmSciTech

Comparison of in vitro release rates of acyclovir from cream formulations using vertical diffusion cells.

PMID 24824173


Acyclovir, indicated in the treatment of herpes labialis ("cold sores"), is formulated as semisolid topical dosage forms and marketed in numerous countries. Since the formulations of the various acyclovir products may differ from country to country, this study was undertaken to compare the in vitro release of acyclovir from various generic cream products available on the South African and Indian markets using the respective brand/innovator product as the reference product. The in vitro studies were carried out using vertical diffusion cells with a diffusional surface area of 1.767 cm(2) and various commercially available membranes. Normal saline was used as receptor fluid and the temperature maintained at 32 ± 0.5°C. The in vitro release comparisons were based on the recommendations described in the US Food and Drug Administration Draft Guidance for acyclovir ointment and the SUPAC-SS Guidance for non-sterile semisolid dosage forms. The release rates (slope) of the test (T) and the relevant reference product (R) were monitored and compared. The comparative release of acyclovir from the various generic formulations compared with the reference product was found to be within the limits of 75-133.33% with a 90% confidence interval. These experiments indicate that the generic acyclovir cream formulations exhibited release rates that were comparable to the innovator product and could be considered to be bioequivalent.