Drug development and industrial pharmacy

Design and development of a safer non-invasive transungual drug delivery system for topical treatment of onychomycosis.

PMID 24980914


The main objective of this study is to develop a safer non-invasive treatment for nail infections since the current treatment regimen has drawbacks like, incidence of systemic side-effects and higher cost. Proposed topical treatment on the other hand can drastically improve the situation, hence highly desirable. This work was undertaken with a hypothesis to develop a transungual microemulsion gel for topical treatment of onychomycosis. Benzyl alcohol and isopropyl myristate were used as oil, Pluronic F68 as surfactant and ethanol as co surfactant, in double-distilled water and loading itraconazole as the model antifungal drug. Pseudo-ternary phase diagram was developed by titrating different ratios of total oil and water with total surfactant, and Km ratio was fixed at 1:1. Microemulsion formulations were prepared based on the phase diagram and incorporated in gels by adding Carbopol 934P. Nail permeation enhancers like urea and salicylic acid were used to increase drug permeation through the nail plate. Parameters like drug loading, clarity, particle size distribution, drug entrapment efficiency (DEE), drug release profile, release kinetics and nail uptake were checked for the evaluation of the formulations. Complete release of drug from the formulation varied from 60 to 120 min. The optimized formulation had DEE of 92.75%, complete drug release in 60 min and highest nail uptake of 0.386%/mm(2) (39 µg of drug) with 5% urea as nail permeation enhancer. The formulation may prove beneficial in safer treatment of onychomycosis.

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