Use of gelatin-acacia coacervate containing benzocaine in topical formulations

Andreas M. Ichwan, Manous Karimi, Alekha K. Dash

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The in vitro release of a drug from topical formulations depends on the concentration of the drug in the formulation, the solubility of the drug in the base, the diffusion coefficient of the drug in the vehicle, and the partition coefficient of the drug between the vehicle, and the release medium. Incorporation of both complexing agents and cosolvents into such formulations has been used to enhance the in vitro release of a drug from topical formulations. In this investigation, a novel approach to enhance the in vitro release of benzocaine from different ointment formulations has been introduced. In this study, benzocaine was microencapsulated using gelatin- acacia complex coacervation technique. Various weight fractions of the coacervate, 5, 10, and 20% (w/w), were incorporated into both oleaginous and absorption bases. The in vitro release characteristics of benzocaine from the resulting ointments were studied using a modified USP Dissolution Apparatus 2. A plot of the cumulative amount of drug released (7-8%) per unit surface area versus (time) 1/2 was linear. Microscopic studies of the formulations revealed that the coacervates maintained their integrity in the formulation during the preparation and storage of the dosage form. Differential scanning calorimetric (DSC) studies indicated that the drug existed in the crystalline state in all formulations including those at a low drug load (0.5% w/w). DSC was also used to determine the solubility of the drug in the formulation. The rate and extent of drug release was higher in the absorption base as compared to the oleaginous base.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)763-766
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1999


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmaceutical Science

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