Journal of pharmaceutical sciences

Quantitative evaluation of aqueous isopropyl alcohol enhancement on skin flux of terbutaline (sulfate). 2. Permeability contributions of equilibrated drug species across human skin in vitro.

PMID 8699337


This paper demonstrates the usefulness of an equilibria-cotransport model for understanding the isopropyl alcohol-enhanced transport of an ionizable model compound, terbutaline in its sulfate salt form, through human skin in vitro. With the same isopropyl alcohol concentrations (0 - 80% v/v) present at both sides of skin, the permeation experiments were conducted using split-thickness skin and dermis membranes. The equilibria-cotransport model was consistent with total terbutaline flux and a terbutaline-to-sulfate flux ratio, both increased with increasing isopropyl alcohol and/or terbutaline sulfate concentrations. From the saturated drug solutions, aqueous isopropyl alcohol enhanced terbutaline skin flux about 10 - 100-fold with the maximum at 60 - 80% isopropyl alcohol. This overall flux enhancement was qualitatively separated into the contributions of isopropyl alcohol effects on both equilibrated donor concentrations and skin permeabilities of protonated terbutaline, terbutaline-sulfate ion pair anion, and neutral terbutaline-sulfate (2:1) ion triplet. In addition to altering the species equilibria, isopropyl alcohol was found to enhance the transport of both neutral and ionic species of terbutaline sulfate across stratum corneum.