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Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2013 Nov;85(3 Pt B):799-813. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpb.2013.09.007. Epub 2013 Sep 18.

Current trends and future perspectives of solid dispersions containing poorly water-soluble drugs.

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Bioavailability Control Laboratory, College of Pharmacy, Ajou University, Suwon, Republic of Korea.


Over 40% of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) in development pipelines are poorly water-soluble drugs which limit formulation approaches, clinical application and marketability because of their low dissolution and bioavailability. Solid dispersion has been considered one of the major advancements in overcoming these issues with several successfully marketed products. A number of key references that describe state-of-the-art technologies have been collected in this review, which addresses various pharmaceutical strategies and future visions for the solubilization of poorly water-soluble drugs according to the four generations of solid dispersions. This article reviews critical aspects and recent advances in formulation, preparation and characterization of solid dispersions as well as in-depth pharmaceutical solutions to overcome some problems and issues that limit the development and marketability of solid dispersion products.


Classification of solid dispersions; Four generation-to-generation development; Future perspectives and strategies; Mechanism of drug release; Poorly water-soluble drug; Preparation and characterization; Problems and issues

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