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Biomaterials. 2002 Nov;23(21):4241-8.

Stability of polyethylene oxide in matrix tablets prepared by hot-melt extrusion.

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College of Pharmacy, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA.


The thermal stability of polyethylene oxide (PEO) in sustained release tablets prepared by hot-melt extrusion was investigated. The weight average molecular weight of the polymer was studied using gel permeation chromatography. The chemical stability of PEO was found to be dependent on both the storage and processing temperature, and the molecular weight of the polymer. Storage of the polymer above its melting point significantly increased polymer degradation, and the degradation process was accelerated as the molecular weight was reduced. The thermal stability of PEO MW = 1,000,000 (PEO 1 M) in sustained release chlropheniramine maleate (CPM) tablets prepared by hot-melt extrusion was found to depend on the processing temperature and screw speed. Lower molecular weight PEO MW = 100,000 (PEO 100 K) was demonstrated to be a suitable processing aid for PEO 1 M. Incorporation of PEO 100 K reduced degradation of PEO 1 M and did not alter the release rate of CPM. Vitamin E, Vitamin E Succinate and Vitamin E TPGS were found to be suitable stabilizers for PEO, however, ascorbic acid was shown to degrade the polymer in solution. Thermal analysis demonstrated that Vitamin E Succinate and Vitamin E TPGS were dispersed at the molecular level in hot-melt extruded tablets. Solubilized Vitamin E Succinate and Vitamin E TPGS suppressed the melting point of the polyethylene oxide. Drug release rates from hot-melt extruded tablets stabilized with antioxidants were found to be dependent on the hydrophilic nature of the antioxidant.

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