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AAPS PharmSciTech. 2013 Mar;14(1):151-9. doi: 10.1208/s12249-012-9897-x. Epub 2012 Dec 19.

Low-viscosity hydroxypropylcellulose (HPC) grades SL and SSL: versatile pharmaceutical polymers for dissolution enhancement, controlled release, and pharmaceutical processing.

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Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island 02881, USA.


Hydroxypropylcellulose (HPC)-SL and -SSL, low-viscosity hydroxypropylcellulose polymers, are versatile pharmaceutical excipients. The utility of HPC polymers was assessed for both dissolution enhancement and sustained release of pharmaceutical drugs using various processing techniques. The BCS class II drugs carbamazepine (CBZ), hydrochlorthiazide, and phenytoin (PHT) were hot melt mixed (HMM) with various polymers. PHT formulations produced by solvent evaporation (SE) and ball milling (BM) were prepared using HPC-SSL. HMM formulations of BCS class I chlorpheniramine maleate (CPM) were prepared using HPC-SL and -SSL. These solid dispersions (SDs) manufactured using different processes were evaluated for amorphous transformation and dissolution characteristics. Drug degradation because of HMM processing was also assessed. Amorphous conversion using HMM could be achieved only for relatively low-melting CBZ and CPM. SE and BM did not produce amorphous SDs of PHT using HPC-SSL. Chemical stability of all the drugs was maintained using HPC during the HMM process. Dissolution enhancement was observed in HPC-based HMMs and compared well to other polymers. The dissolution enhancement of PHT was in the order of SE>BM>HMM>physical mixtures, as compared to the pure drug, perhaps due to more intimate mixing that occurred during SE and BM than in HMM. Dissolution of CPM could be significantly sustained in simulated gastric and intestinal fluids using HPC polymers. These studies revealed that low-viscosity HPC-SL and -SSL can be employed to produce chemically stable SDs of poorly as well as highly water-soluble drugs using various pharmaceutical processes in order to control drug dissolution.

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