A systematic study of molecular interactions of anionic drugs with a dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate copolymer regarding solubility enhancement.


The methacrylate-copolymer Eudragit® EPO (EPO) has raised interest in solubility enhancement of anionic drugs. Effects on aqueous drug solubility at rather low polymer concentrations are barely known despite of their importance upon dissolution and dilution of oral dosage forms. We provide evidence for substantial enhancement (factor 4-230) of aqueous solubility of poorly water-soluble anionic drugs induced by low (0.1-5% (w/w)) concentration of EPO for a panel of seven acidic crystalline drugs. Diffusion data (determined by 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy) indicate that the solubility increasing effect monitored by quantitative ultra-pressure liquid chromatography was caused primarily by molecular API polymer interactions in the bulk liquid phase. Residual solid API remained unaltered as tested by X-ray powder diffraction. The solubility enhancement (SE) revealed a significant rank correlation (rSpearman= -0.83) with rDiffAPI, where SE and rDiffAPI are defined ratios of solubility and diffusion coefficient in the presence and absence of EPO. SE decreased in the order of indomethacin, mefenamic acid, warfarin, piroxicam, furosemide, bezafibrate, and tolbutamide. The solubilizing effect was attributed to both ionic and hydrophobic interactions between drugs and EPO. The excellent solubilizing properties of EPO are highly promising for pharmaceutical development and the dataset provides first steps towards an understanding of drug-excipient interaction mechanisms.