Preformulation Testing of Solid Dosage Forms : Preformulation Testing of Solid Dosage Forms Preformulation testing is the first step in the rational development of dosage forms of a drug substance. : Preformulation testing is the first step in the rational development of dosage forms of a drug substance. It can be defined as an investigation of physical and chemical properties of a drug substance - alone and when combined with excipients.
The overall objective of preformulation testing is to generate information useful to the formulator in developing stable and bioavailable dosage forms which can be mass-produced. Slide 3: During the early development of a new drug substance, the synthetic chemist, alone or in cooperation with specialists in other disciplines (including preformulation), may record some data which can be appropriately considered as preformulation data.
This early data collection may include such information as
- gross particle size,
- melting point,
- infrared analysis,
- thin-layer chromatographic purity,
- and other such characterizations of different laboratory-scale batches.
These data are useful in guiding, and becoming part of, the main body of preformulation work. Steps in Preformulation Process Pharmaceutical Research : Steps in Preformulation Process Pharmaceutical Research 1. Stability i. Solubility
a. Solid State (1) Water and Other Solvents
(1) Temperature (2) pH-Solubility Profile
(2) Light (3) Salt Forms
(3) Humidity (4) Cosolvents
b. Solution (5) Complexation
(1) Solvent (6) Prodrug
(2) pH j. Effect of pH on UV Spectra
(3) Light k. Ionization Constant
2, Solid State Compatibility l. Volatility
a. TLC Analysis m. Optical Activity
b. DRS Analysis n. Polymorphism Potential
3. Physico-chemical Properties o. Solvate Formation
a. Molecular Structure and Weight 4. Physico-mechanical Properties
b. Color a. Bulk and Tapped Density
c. Odor b. Compressibility
d. Particle size, Shape, and Crystallinity c. Photomicrograph
e. Melting Point 5. In Vitro Availability Properties
f. Thermal Analysis Profile a. Dissolution of Drug Crystal Per se
(1) DTA b. Dissolution of Pure Drug Pellet
(2) DSC c. Dissolution Analysis of Pure Drug
(3) TGA d. Rat Everted Gut Technique
g. Hygroscopicity Potential 6. Other Studies
h. Absorbance Spectra a. Plasma Protein Binding
(1) UV b. Effect of Compatible Excipients
(2) IR on Dissolution
c. Kinetic Studies of Solution
d. Use of Radio-labeled Drug Slide 5: The formal preformulation study should start at the point after biological screening, when a decision is made for further development of the compound in clinical trials.
Before embarking upon a formal program, the preformulation scientist must consider the following:
1. The available physicochemical data (including chemical structure, different salts available)
2. The therapeutic class of the compound and anticipated dose
3. The supply situation and the development schedule (i.e., the time available)
4. The availability of a stability-indicating assay
5. The nature of the information the formulator should have or would like to have 1. ORGANOLEPTIC PROPERTIES : 1. ORGANOLEPTIC PROPERTIES 1.1 Color
Unappealing to the eye ==> instrumental methods or variable from batch to batch
Record of early batches ==> establishing “specs” is very useful for later production
Undesirable or ==> incorporation of a dye variable color in the body or coating 1.2 Odor and Taste : 1.2 Odor and Taste Unpalatable ==> use of less soluble chemical form (bioavailability not compromised!)
==> suppressed by - flavors - excipients - coating
Drug substances irritating to skin ==> handling precautions or sternutatory (sneezing)
Flavors, dyes, excipients used ==> stability bioavailability Table 1. Suggested Terminology to Describe Organoleptic Properties of Pharmaceutical Powders : Table 1. Suggested Terminology to Describe Organoleptic Properties of Pharmaceutical Powders Color Odor Taste
Off-white Pungent Acidic
Cream yellow Sulfurous Bitter
Tan Fruity Bland
Shiny Aromatic intense
Tasteless 2. PURITY : 2. PURITY Materials with impurities not necessary to be rejected
Another control parameter for comparison with subsequent batches
More direct concerns - impurity can affect:
- Stability: metal contamination in ppm
- Appearance: off-color -> recrystallized -> white
- Toxic: aromatic amine (p-amino phenol) -> carcinogenic
Often remedial action => simple recrystallization Slide 11: Cimetidine-acid hydrolysis Slide 14: OH- H+ Slide 15: Techniques used for characterizing purity are the same as used in preformulation study :
- Thin layer chromatography (TLC)
- High-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC)
- Gas chromatography (GC)
Impurity index (II) defined as the ratio of all responses (peak areas) due to components other than the main one to the total area response.
Homogeneity index (HI) defined as the ratio of the response (peak area) due to the main component to the total response. Slide 17: Example:
Main component - retention time: 4.39 min
- area response: 4620
Impurities - 7 minor peaks
- total area response : 251
Impurity index = 251/(4620 + 251)
Homogeneity index = 1 - 0.0515
= 0.9485 Slide 18: USP Impurity Index defined as a ratio of responses due to impurities to that response due to a defined concentration of a standard of the main component. (using TLC)
General limit 2 % impurities
All II, HI, USP II are not absolute measures of impurity since the specific response (molecular absorbances or extinction coefficient) due to each impurity is assumed to be the same as that of the main component.
More accurate analysis - identification of each individual impurity followed by preparation of standards for each one of them. Slide 19: Other useful tools in assessment of impurity:
- Differential Thermal Analysis (DTA)
- Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA)
- Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC)
- Powder X-Ray Diffraction (PXRD) Slide 21: acyclovir Ethylcellulose film DSC thermograms of
pure acyclovir and pure ethylcellulose films DSC thermograms of
containing 12.8 %
15 % propylene glycol
and 10 % Tween 80 Slide 22: Cimetidine 3. PARTICLE SIZE, SHAPE, AND SURFACE AREA : 3. PARTICLE SIZE, SHAPE, AND SURFACE AREA Effects of particle size distribution and shape on:
- Chemical and physical properties of drug substances.
- Bioavailability of drug substances (griseofulvin, chlorpropamide).
- Flow and mixing efficiency of powders and granules in making tablets.
- Fine materials tend to require more amount of granulating liquid (cimetidine).
- Stability, fine materials relatively more open to attack from atmospheric O2, heat, light, humidity, and interacting excipients than coarse materials. (Table 2) Table 2. Influence of Particle Size on Reaction of Sulfacetamide with Phthalic anhydride in 1:2 Molar Compacts after 3 hr at 95 oC : Table 2. Influence of Particle Size on Reaction of Sulfacetamide with Phthalic anhydride in 1:2 Molar Compacts after 3 hr at 95 oC Particle size of % Conversion
sulfacetamide + SD
128 21.54 + 2.74
164 19.43 + 3.25
214 17.25 + 2.88
302 15.69 + 7.90
387 9.34 + 4.41
Weng and Parrott Slide 28: Very fine materials are difficult to handle, overcome by creating solid solution in a carrier (water-soluble polymer).
Important to decide, maintain, and control a desired size range.
Safest - grind most new drugs with particle diameter > 100 mm (~ 140 mesh) down to ~ 10 - 40 mm (~ 325 mesh).
Particles with diameter < 30 mm (~ 400 mesh), grinding is unnecessary except needle-like => improve flow.
Drawbacks to grinding:
- material losses
- static charge build-up
- aggregation => increase hydrophobicity
=> lowering dissolution rate
- polymorphic or chemical transformations 3.1 General Techniques For Determining Particle Size : 3.1 General Techniques For Determining Particle Size 3.1.1 Microscopy
- Most rapid technique.
- But for quantitative size determination requires counting large number of particles.
- For size ~ 1 mm upward (magnification x400).
- Suspending material in nondissolving fluid (water or mineral oil)
- Polarizing lens to observe birefringence => change in amorphous state after grinding? Slide 30: Ketoprofen Slide 31: Eudragit L100 Slide 32: 3.1.2 Sieving
- Quantitative particle size distribution analysis.
- For size > 50 mm upward.
- Shape has strong influence on results. Slide 35: 3.1.3 Electronic means
To encompass most pharmaceutical powders ranging in size 1 - 120 mm:
- Blockage of electrical conductivity path (Coulter)
- Light blockage (HIAC) [adopted by USP]
- Light scattering (Royco)
- Laser scattering (Malvern) Slide 40: 3.1.4 Other techniques
- Air suspension
- Sedimentation (Adreasen pipet, recording balance)
Disfavor now because of their tedious nature. Table 3. Common Techniques for Measuring Fine Particles of Various Sizes : Table 3. Common Techniques for Measuring Fine Particles of Various Sizes Technique Particle size (mm)
Microscopic 1 - 100
Sieve > 50
Sedimentation > 1
Elutriation 1 - 50
Centrifugal < 50
Permeability > 1
Light scattering 0.5 - 50
(Parrott) Slide 44: (Undersize) Slide 45: (Undersize) 3.2 Determination of Surface Area : 3.2 Determination of Surface Area Surface areas of powders
-> increasing attention in recent years: reflect the particle size
particle size ==> surface area.
Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) theory of adsorption
Most substances will adsorb a monomolecular layer of a gas under certain conditions of partial pressure (of the gas) and temperature.
Knowing the monolayer capacity of an adsorbent (i.e., the quantity of adsorbate that can be accommodated as a monolayer on the surface of a solid, the adsorbent) and the area of the adsorbate molecule, the surface area can, in principle be calculated. Slide 50: Most commonly, nitrogen is used as the adsorbate at a specific partial pressure established by mixing it with an inert gas, typically helium. The adsorption process is carried out at liquid nitrogen temperature (-195 oC).
It has been demonstrated that, at a partial pressure of nitrogen attainable when it is in a 30 % mixture with an inert gas and at -195 oC, a monolayer is adsorbed onto most solids.
Apparently, under these conditions the polarity of nitrogen is sufficient for van de Waals forces of attraction between the adsorbate and the adsorbents to be manifest.
The kinetic energy present under these conditions overwhelms the intermolecular attraction between nitrogen atoms. However, it is not sufficient to break the bonding between the nitrogen and dissimilar atoms. The latter are most often more polar and prone to van de Waals forces of attraction.
The nitrogen molecule does not readily enter into chemical combinations, and thus its binding is of a nonspecific nature (I.e., it enters into a physical adsorption); consequently , the nitrogen molecule is well suited for this role. Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) adsorption isotherm : Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) adsorption isotherm 1 = C - 1 P + 1 (1)
l(Po/P - 1) lmC Po lmC
l = g of adsorbate per g of adsorbent
lm = maximum value of that l ratio for a monolayer
P = partial pressure of the adsorbate gas
Po = vapor pressure of the pure adsorbate gas
C = constant
P, Po, and C are temperature-dependent Slide 52: The values of l (g of adsorbate/g of adsorbent) at various P values (partial pressure of the adsorbate gas) could be obtained from the experiment through instrument.
Po (vapor pressure of the pure adsorbate gas) can be obtained from the literature.
Plotting the term 1/[l(Po/P - 1)] against P/Po will obtain a straight line with
slope = (C - 1)/lmC
intercept = 1/lmC
The term C and lm can readily be obtained Dynamic Method of Gas Adsorption : Dynamic Method of Gas Adsorption Accurately weighing the sample into an appropriate container
Immersing the container in liquid nitrogen
Passing the gas over the sample
Removing the liquid nitrogen when the adsorption is complete (as signaled by the instrument)
Warming the sample to about the room temperature
Measuring (via the instrument) the adsorbated gas released (column 3 of Table 5)
Performing the calibration by injecting known amounts of adsorbated gas into the proper instrument port (column 4 and 5 of Table 5)
P is the product of the fraction of N2 in the gas mixture (column 1 of Table 5) and the ambient pressure Slide 56: At relatively large diameters, the specific surface area is insensitive to an increase in diameter
At very small diameters the surface area is comparatively very sensitive.
Relatively high surface area most often reflects a relatively small particle size, except porous or strongly agglomerated mass
Small particles (thus of high surface area) agglomerate more readily, and often to render the inner pores and surfaces inaccessible to dissolution medium 4. SOLUBILITY : 4. SOLUBILITY Solubility > 1 % w/v
=> no dissolution-related absorption problem
Highly insoluble drug administered in small doses may exhibit good absorption
Unstable drug in highly acidic environment of stomach, high solubility and consequent rapid dissolution could result in a decreased bioavailability
The solubility of every new drug must be determined as a function of pH over the physiological pH range of 1 - 8 4.1 Determination of Solubility : 4.1 Determination of Solubility Solvent
(fixed volume) Adding solute in small
incremental amounts Vigorously
solute particles ? Examine
visually Yes No Total amount
added up Estimated solubility 4.1.1 Semiquantitative determination: “LAW OF MASS ACTION” 4.1.2 Accurately Quantitative determination: : 4.1.2 Accurately Quantitative determination: Excess drug powder
150 mg/ml (15 %)
+ solvent Ampul/vial
(2-5 ml) Shaking at constant
(25 or 37 oC)
2 - 8 oC ? Membrane filter
0.45 mm Determine the drug
concentration in the
filtrate Determine the drug
concentration in the
filtrate Determine the drug
concentration in the
filtrate Membrane filter
0.45 mm Membrane filter
0.45 mm Same
concentration ? The first few ml’s of the filtrates should be
discarded due to possible filter adsorption Solubility 48 hr 72 hr ? hr 4.1.3 Unique Problems in Solubility Determination of Poorly Soluble Compounds : 4.1.3 Unique Problems in Solubility Determination of Poorly Soluble Compounds Solubilities could be overestimated due to the presence of soluble impurities
Saturation solubility is not reached in a reasonable length of time unless the amount of solid used is greatly in excess of that needed to saturation
Many compounds in solution degrade, thus making an accurate determination of solubility difficult
Difficulty is also encountered in the determination of solubility of metastable forms that transform to more stable forms when exposed to solvents 4.2 pH-Solubility Profile : 4.2 pH-Solubility Profile Excess drug
powder Stir in beaker
suspension Determine the
of drug in
the filtrate SOLUBILITY pH Filter Stirring Slide 62: 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 5 4 3 2 1 Indomethacin
(weak acid) Chlorpromazine
(weak base) Oxytetracycline
(amphoteric) pH Log aqueous solubility (mmol) Slide 63: Poorly-soluble weakly-acidic drugs:
pH = pKa + log [(St - So)/So] (2)
Poorly-soluble weakly-basic drugs:
pH = pKa + log [So/(St - So)] (3)
So = solubility of unionized free acid or base
St = total solubility (unionized + ionized) 4.3 Salt Forms : 4.3 Salt Forms NSAID’s alclofenac, diclofenac, fenbufen,
Weak acid pKa ~ 4, low solubility
Salt forms sodium
N-(2-hydroxy ethyl) piperazinium
diclofenac (free acid) : 0.8 x 10 -5 M (25 oC)
diclofenac sodium : 24.5 mg/ml (37 oC) 4.3 Salt Forms (cont.) : 4.3 Salt Forms (cont.) Quinolones enoxacin, norfloxacin,
Salt forms lactate, acetate, gluconate,
Free base : < 0.1 mg/ml (25 oC)
Salt forms : > 100 mg/ml (25 oC) 4.4 Solubilization : 4.4 Solubilization Drug not an acidic or basic, or the acidic or basic character not amendable to the formation of a stable salt
Use more soluble metastable polymorph
Use of complexation (eg. Ribloflavin-xanthines complex)
Use of high-energy coprecipitates that are mixtures of solid solutions and solid dispersions (eg. Griseofulvin in PEG 4000, 6000, and 20,000)
in PEG 4000 and 20,000 -> supersaturated solutions
in PEG 6000 -> bioavailability in human twice > micronized drug
Use of suitable surfactant Slide 68: Cimetidine 4.4.1 Complexation : 4.4.1 Complexation Complexation can be analyzed and explained on the basis of “law of mass action” as follows:
D (solid) D (solution) (4)
xD + yC DxCy (5)
St = [D] + x[DxCy] (6)
D = drug molecule
C = complexing agent (ligand)
St = total solubility of free drug [D] and the
drug in the complex [DxCy] Slide 71: Benzocaine-caffeine complex Ligand (Complexing Agents) : Ligand (Complexing Agents) - Vitamin K - Caffeine
- Menadione - Benzoic acid
- Cholesterol - PEG series
- Cholate salt - PVP
Formulation point of view:
1. How much will a specific complexing agent be used for a certain amount of drug?
2. How does the resultant complex affect the safety, stability, and therapeutic efficacy of the product? Slide 73: Stoichiometric ratio = moles of drug in complex
moles of complexing agent in the complex
x:y = DT - R (8)
b - a
DT = Amount of total drug added in excess (than its solubility) to the system Diagram showing dissolution and absorption of solid dosage form into blood circulation : C, Vc
Xc D Xg kd ka ke Absorption site
(gi-tract) Central compartment
(blood circulation) Dissolution Absorption Elimination Diagram showing dissolution and absorption of solid dosage form into blood circulation 5. Dissolution kd << ka => “dissolution rate-limited” 5.1 Intrinsic Dissolution5.1.1 Film Theory : 5.1 Intrinsic Dissolution5.1.1 Film Theory The dissolution of a solid in its own solution is adequately described by Noyes-Nernst’s “Film Theory”
-dW = DAK (Cs - C) (9)
dW/dt = dissolution rate
A = surface area of the dissolving solid
D = diffusion coefficient
K = partition coefficient
h = aqueous diffusion layer
Cs = solubility of solute
C = solute concentration in the bulk medium Slide 81: The dissolution of a solid in its own solution is adequately described by Noyes-Nernst’s “Film Theory”
- dW/dt = ADK(Cs- C)/h
dW/dt = dissolution rate of solid
A = surface area of dissolving solid
D = diffusion coefficient
K = partition coefficient
Cs = solubility of solute
C = solute concentration in bulk medium
h = aqueous diffusion layer thickness Cs A D h 5.1 Intrinsic Dissolution5.1.1 Film Theory Slide 82: Intrinsic dissolution rate (mg/cm2/min) is characteristics of each solid compound in a given solvent under fixed hydrodynamic conditions
Intrinsic dissolution rate helps in predicting if absorption would be dissolution rate-limited
> 1 mg/cm2/min --> not likely to present dissolution rate-limited absorption problems
< 0.1 mg/cm2/min --> usually exhibit dissolution rate-limited absorption
0.1 - 1.0 mg/cm2/min --> more information is needed before making any prediction 5.1.2 Method of Determination : 126.96.36.199 Rotating-disk method (Wood apparatus) 5.1.2 Method of Determination Stirring shaft Tablet die Lower punch Compressed tablet Rubber gasket Dissolution medium 188.8.131.52 Nelson Constant Surface Method : 184.108.40.206 Nelson Constant Surface Method Rotating
Paddle Tablet surface Harden wax
or paraffin Dissolution
medium 5.2 Particulate Dissolution : 5.2 Particulate Dissolution Particulate dissolution is used to study the influence on dissolution of particle size, surface area, and mixing with excipients.
The rate of dissolution normally increased with a decrease in the particle size.
Occasionally, however, an inverse relationship of particle size to dissolution is encountered.
This may be explained on the basis of effective or available, rather than absolute, surface area; and it is caused by incomplete wetting of the powder.
Incorporation of a surfactant in the dissolution medium may provide the expected relationship. 5.2.1 Effect of particle size of phenacetin on dissolution rate of the drug from granules : 5.2.1 Effect of particle size of phenacetin on dissolution rate of the drug from granules Time (min) Amount Dissolved (mg in 500 ml) 0.11 - 0.15 mm 0.15 - 0.21 mm 0.21 - 0.30 mm 0.30 - 0.50 mm 0.50 - 0.71 mm (Finholt) 5.2.2 Means of enhancing the slow dissolution: : 5.2.2 Means of enhancing the slow dissolution: in absence of more soluble physical or chemical form of the drug -
Particle size reduction (most commonly used).
Enhanced surface area by adsorbing the drug on an inert excipient with a high surface area, i.e., fumed silicon dioxide.
Comelting, coprecipitating, or triturating the drug with some excipients.
Incorporation of suitable surfactant. 5.3 Prediction of Dissolution Rate : 5.3 Prediction of Dissolution Rate Consider the dissolution of 22 mg of 60/80 mesh hydrocortisone in 500 ml of water. The aqueous solubility of hydrocortisone is 0.28 mg/ml. The 60/80 mesh fraction corresponds to 212 mm or 2.12x10-2 cm in diameter. The density of hydrocortisone is 1.25 g/ml. The volume of a sphere is (4/3)pr3. Assuming that all particles are spheres of the same diameter, 22 mg would correspond to
22 x 10-3 3 = 3,500 spherical particles
1.25 4p x (1.06)3 x 10-6
The area of a sphere is given by 4pr2. Therefore, the area of 3,500 particles of average radius 1.06x10-2 cm is
4p x (1.06)2 x 10-4 x 3,500 = 4.94 cm2 Slide 93: The dissolution rate according to Eq.(9) is
-dW = DAK (Cs - C) (9)
D = 9.0x10-6 cm2/sec (good approximation for most drugs)
A = 4.94 cm2
K = 1.0
h = 5.0x10-3 cm (diffusion layer thickness at 50 rpm stirring)
Cs = 0.28 mg/ml
C = 0 (early phase of dissolution)
Thus, for the sample of hydrocortisone,
Initial dissolution rate = 4.94 x 9.0x10-6 x 0.28
= 2.49x10-3 mg/sec 6. Parameter Affecting Absorption : 6. Parameter Affecting Absorption The absorption of drugs administered orally as solids consists of 2 consecutive processes:
1. The process of dissolution, followed by
2. The transport of the dissolved materials across gi membranes into systemic circulation Slide 95: The rate-determining step in the overall absorption process:
For relatively insoluble compounds
-> rate of dissolution
(can be altered via physical intervention)
For relatively soluble compounds
-> rate of permeation across biological membrane
(is dependent on size, relative aqueous and lipid solubilities, and ionic charge of the solute molecules)
(can be altered, in the majority of cases, only through molecular modification) Slide 96: In making a judgement concerning the absorption potential of a new drug entity, the preformulation scientist must undertake studies to delineate its dissolution as well as permeation behavior.
Characterization of the permeation behavior of a new drug must be performed at an early stage of drug development-primarily to help avoid mistaken efforts to improve its absorption by improving dissolution, when in reality the absorption is permeability-limited.
Permeability studies are of even greater importance when analogs of the compound having similar pharmacological attributes are available
Permeability studies then would aid in the selection of the compound with the greatest absorption potential. 6.1 Partition Coefficient : 6.1 Partition Coefficient Like biological membrane in general, the gi membranes are largely lipoidal in character.
The rate and extent of absorption decreased with the increasing polarity of molecules.
Partition coefficient (distribution coefficient): the ratio in which a solute distributes itself between the two phases of two immiscible liquids that are in contact with each other (mostly n-octanol/water). Comparison Between Colonic Absorption and Lipid/Water Partition of the Un-ionized forms of Barbiturates : Comparison Between Colonic Absorption and Lipid/Water Partition of the Un-ionized forms of Barbiturates Chloroform/water
Barbiturate % Absorbed partition coefficient
Barbital 12 + 2 0.7
Aprobarbital 17 + 2 4.0
Phenobarbital 20 + 3 4.8
Allylbarbituric acid 23 + 3 10.5
Butethal 24 + 3 11.7
Cyclobarbital 24 + 3 18.0
Pentobarbital 30 + 2 23.0
Secobarbital 40 + 3 50.7
Hexethal 44 + 3 > 100.0
(Schanker) 6.2 Ionization Constant : 6.2 Ionization Constant The unionized species are more lipid-soluble and hence more readily absorbed.
The gi absorption of weakly acidic or basic drugs is related to the fraction of unionized drug in solution.
Factors affecting absorption:
- pH at the site of absorption
- Ionization constant
- Lipid solubility of unionized species
“pH-partition theory” Slide 100: Henderson-Hasselbalch equation
pH = pKa + log [ionized form]/[unionized form]
pH = pKa + log [unionized form]/[ionized form]
Determination of Ionization Constant
1. Potentiometric pH-Titration
2. pH-Spectrophotometry Method
3. pH-Solubility Analysis