Two release rates from monolithic carboxymethyl starch tablets: formulation, characterization, and in vitro/in vivo evaluation

Most of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including ibuprofen at more than 1200 mg/day may generate gastrointestinal and cardiovascular side effects. Bilayer or multiparticulate devices have been developed for controlled release in order to prevent undesired side effects. A new “two release rate (2RR) monolithic tablets” approach is now proposed for controlled release of poorly soluble drugs, particularly NSAIDs. Ibuprofen was used as model drug. This concept is based on a calcium carboxymethyl-starch (CaCMS) complex as a novel, low-cost excipient for monolithic dosage forms easy to manufacture by direct compaction. The in vitro dissolution from CaCMS formulations (tablets containing 400 or 600 mg active principle) showed two distinct release rates: (i) an initial fast release (for 30 min in simulated gastric fluid) of about 200 mg ibuprofen, an amount similar to the dosage of conventional immediate-release form (Motrin® 200 mg), and (ii) a slow release of remaining about 200 or 400 mg for a period of 12 h. A preliminary in vivo study (beagle dogs) showed pharmacokinetic parameters of one single controlled-release dosage of ibuprofen (400 mg) formulated with CaCMS, near equivalence with multiple doses (three tablets of 200 mg ibuprofen) of conventional Motrin®. A marked reduction (with 33%) of administered dose (400 instead 600 mg) was achieved by the new formulation with equivalent therapeutic effects. This dose reduction may be beneficial and is expected to minimize side damage risks. Although the present study was limited to NSAIDs, the 2RR concept can be applied for other drugs, particularly for subjects unable to follow frequent administrations.