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Papers of the Week

2022 May 18

Materials (Basel)



Development and Characterizations of Pullulan and Maltodextrin-Based Oral Fast-Dissolving Films Employing a Box-Behnken Experimental Design.


Shah K A, Gao B, Kamal R, Razzaq A, Qi S, Zhu Q-N, Lina S, Huang L, Cremin G, Iqbal H, Menaa F, Cui J-H
Materials (Basel). 2022 May 18; 15(10).
PMID: 35629620.


Migraine is a neurological disorder characterized by severe headaches, visual aversions, auditory, and olfactory disorders, accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Zolmitriptan (ZMT) is a potent 5HT1B/1D serotonin receptor agonist frequently used for the treatment of migraine. It has erratic absorption from the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), but its oral bioavailability is low (40-45%) due to the hepatic metabolism. This makes it an ideal candidate for oral fast dissolving formulations. Hence, the current study was undertaken to design and develop oral fast-dissolving films (OFDFs) containing ZMT for migraine treatment. The OFDFs were formulated by the solvent casting method (SCM) using Pullulan (PU) and maltodextrin (MDX) as film-forming agents and propylene glycol (PG) as a plasticizer. The strategy was designed using Box-Behnken experimental design considering the proportion of PU:MDX and percentage of PG as independent variables. The effectiveness of the OFDF's was measured based on the following responses: drug release at five min, disintegration time (D-time), and tensile strength (TS). The influence of formulation factors, including percent elongation (%E), thickness, water content, moisture absorption, and folding endurance on ZMT-OFDFs, were also studied. The results showed a successful fabrication of stable ZMT-OFDFs, with surface uniformity and amorphous shape of ZMT in fabricated films. The optimized formulation showed a remarkable rapid dissolution, over 90% within the first 5 min, a fast D-time of 18 s, and excellent mechanical characteristics. Improved maximum plasma concentration (C max) and area under the curve (AUC 0-t) in animals (rats) treated with ZMT-OFDFs compared to those treated with an intra-gastric (i-g) suspension of ZMT were also observed. Copolymer OFDFs with ZMT is an exciting proposition with great potential for the treatment of migraine headache. This study offers a promising strategy for developing ZMT-OFDFs using SCM. ZMT-OFDFs showed remarkable rapid dissolution and fast D-time, which might endeavor ZMT-OFDFs as an auspicious alternative approach to improve patient compliance and shorten the onset time of ZMT in migraine treatment.