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Pharm Dev Technol. 2005;10(1):71-83.

Effects of formulation variables and characterization of guaifenesin wax microspheres for controlled release.

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  • 1Forest Laboratories Inc, Commack, New York, USA.


Sustained-release wax microspheres of guaifenesin, a highly water-soluble drug, were prepared by the hydrophobic congealable disperse method using a salting-out procedure. The effects of formulation variables on the loading efficiency, particle properties, and in-vitro drug release from the microspheres were determined. The type of dispersant, the amount of wetting agent, and initial stirring time used affected the loading efficiency, while the volume of external phase and emulsification speed affected the particle size of the microspheres to a greater extent. The crystal properties of the drug in the wax matrix and the morphology of the microspheres were studied by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), powder x-ray diffraction (XRD), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The DSC thermograms of the microspheres showed that the drug lost its crystallinity during the microencapsulation process, which was further confirmed by the XRD data. The electron micrographs of the drug-loaded microspheres showed well-formed spherical particles with a rough exterior.

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