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Int J Pharm. 2013 Oct 15;455(1-2):31-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2013.07.072. Epub 2013 Aug 7.

In vitro and in vivo correlation of disintegration and bitter taste masking using orally disintegrating tablet containing ion exchange resin-drug complex.

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Korea United Pharm., Inc., Seoul 135-010, Republic of Korea.


Although the taste-masking of bitter drug using ion exchange resin has been recognized, in vitro testing using an electronic tongue (e-Tongue) and in vivo bitterness test by human panel test was not fully understood. In case of orally disintegrating tablet (ODT) containing bitter medicine, in vitro and in vivo disintegration is also importance for dosage performance. Donepezil hydrochloride was chosen as a model drug due to its bitterness and requires rapid disintegration for the preparation of ODT. In this study, ion exchange resin drug complex (IRDC) at three different ratios (1:2, 1:1, 2:1) was prepared using a spray-drying method and then IRDC-loaded ODT containing superdisintegrants (crospovidone, croscarmellose sodium, and sodium starch glycolate) were prepared by the direct compression method. The physical properties and morphologies were then characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray powder diffraction (PXRD) and electrophoretic laser scattering (ELS), respectively. The in vitro taste-masking efficiency was measured with an electronic tongue (e-Tongue). In vivo bitterness scale was also evaluated by human volunteers and then we defined new term, "bitterness index (BI)" to link in vitro e-Tongue. There was a good correlation of IRDC between in vitro e-Tongue values and in vivo BI. Furthermore, IRDC-loaded ODT showed good in vitro/in vivo correlation in the disintegration time. The optimal IRDC-loaded ODTs displayed similar drug release profiles to the reference tablet (Aricept(®) ODT) in release media of pH 1.2, pH 4.0, pH 6.8 and distilled water but had significantly better palatability in vivo taste-masking evaluation. The current IRDC-loaded ODT according to the in vitro and in vivo correlation of disintegration and bitter taste masking could provide platforms in ODT dosage formulations of donepezil hydrochloride for improved patient compliances.


Bitterness index; Donepezil hydrochloride; Electronic tongue; In vitro/in vivo correlation; Ion exchange-resin drug complex; Orally disintegrating tablet

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