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Papers of the Week

Papers: 27 May 2023 - 2 Jun 2023

Basic Science, Methodology

Animal Studies, Human Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology, Pharmacology/Drug Development

Inflammation/Inflammatory, Psychological/Comorbidities

2023 May 04





Topical Delivery of Ketorolac Tromethamine via Cataplasm for Inflammatory Pain Therapy.


Hou Z, Wen Q, Zhou W, Yan P, Zhang H, Ding J


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been widely used in the treatment of inflammatory pain, such as in osteoarthritis. Ketorolac tromethamine is considered to be an NSAID with strong anti-inflammatory and analgesic potency, however, traditional applications, such as oral administration and injections, often induce high systemic exposure, leading to adverse events such as gastric ulceration and bleeding. To address this key limitation, herein we designed and fabricated a topical delivery system for ketorolac tromethamine via cataplasm, which is based on a three-dimensional mesh structure formed by the cross-linking of dihydroxyaluminum aminoacetate (DAAA) and sodium polyacrylate. The viscoelasticity of the cataplasm was characterized by rheological methods and exhibited a “gel-like” elastic property. The release behavior showed a Higuchi model characteristic with a dose dependence. To enhance the skin permeation, permeation enhancers were added and screened utilizing ex vivo pig skin, in which 1,2-propanediol was found to have the optimal permeation-promoting effect. The cataplasm was further applied to a rat carrageenan-induced inflammatory pain model, which showed comparable anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects with oral administration. Finally, the biosafety of the cataplasm was tested in healthy human volunteers, and reduced side effects were achieved as compared to the tablet formulation, which can be ascribed to less systemic drug exposure and lower blood drug concentrations. Therefore, the constructed cataplasm can reduce the risk of adverse events while maintaining efficacy, thus serving as a better alternative for the treatment of inflammatory pain, including osteoarthritis.