The Effect of pH, Buffer Capacity, and Ionic Strength on Quetiapine Fumarate Release from Matrix Tablets Prepared Using Two Different Polymeric Blends


The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of the different physiological parameters of the gastrointestinal (GI) fluid (pH, buffer capacity, and ionic strength) on the in vitro release of the weakly basic BCS class II drug quetiapine fumarate (QF) from two once-a-day matrix tablet formulations (F1 and F2) developed as potential generic equivalents to Seroquel® XR. F1 tablets were prepared using blends of high and low viscosity grades of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC K4M and K100LV, respectively), while F2 tablets were prepared from HPMC K4M and PEGylated glyceryl behenate (Compritol® HD5 ATO). The two formulations attained release profiles of QF over 24 h similar to that of Seroquel® XR using the dissolution medium published by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A series of solubility and in vitro dissolution studies was then carried out using media that simulate the gastric and intestinal fluids and cover the physiological pH, buffer capacity, and ionic strength range of the GIT. Solubility studies revealed that QF exhibits a typical weak base pH-dependent solubility profile and that the solubility of QF increases with increasing the buffer capacity and ionic strength of the media. The release profiles of QF from F1, F2, and Seroquel® XR tablets were found to be influenced by the pH, buffer capacity, and ionic strength of the dissolution media to varying degrees. Results highlight the importance of studying the physiological variables along the GIT in designing controlled release formulations for more predictive in vitro-in vivo correlations.