Formulation and topical delivery of lidocaine and prilocaine with the use of Pheroid™ technology
Nell, Dirkie Cornelia
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Local anaesthetics are used regularly in the medical world for a variety of different procedures. Topical anaesthetics are used largely in minor skin breaking procedures, laceration repair and minor surgical procedures such as laryngoscopy, oesophagoscopy or urethroscopy (Franchi et al., 2008:186e1). The topical means of application of a local anaesthetic is non-invasive and painless that results in a good patient acceptability profile (Little et al., 2008:102). An existing commercial topical anaesthetic product contains a eutectic mixture of the amide-type local anaesthetics lidocaine hydrochloride (HCl) and prilocaine hydrochloride (HCl). This commercial product takes up to an hour to produce an anaesthetic effect. This is considered as a disadvantage in the use of topical anaesthetics, an hour waiting time is not always ideal in certain medical circumstances (Wahlgren & Quiding, 2000:584). This study compared the lag times, transdermal and topical delivery of lidocaine HCl and prilocaine HCl from four different semi-solid formulations with the inclusion of a current commercial product. One of the formulated semi-solid formulations included Pheroid™ technology, a novel skin-friendly delivery system developed by the Unit for Drug Research and Development at the North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa. The skin is the body’s first line of defence against noxious external stimuli. It is considered the largest organ in the body with an intensive and complex structure. It consists of five layers with the first outer layer, the stratum corneum, the most impermeable (Williams, 2003:1). The stratum corneum has excellent barrier function characteristics and is the cause for the time delay in the transdermal delivery of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) (Barry, 2007:569). Local anaesthetics need to penetrate all the epidermal skin layers in order to reach their target site, the dermis. Skin appendages as well as blood vessels and skin nerve endings are located in the dermis. Local anaesthetics have to reach the free nerve endings in the dermis in order to cause a reversible block on these nerves for a local anaesthetic effect (Richards & McConachie, 1995:41). Penetration enhancement strategies for the transdermal delivery of lidocaine and prilocaine have been investigated and include methods like liposomal entrapment (Franz-Montan et al., 2010; Müller et al., 2004), micellisation (Scherlund et al., 2000), occlusive dressing (Astra Zeneca, 2006), heating techniques (Masud et al., 2010) and iontophoresis (Brounéus et al., 2000). The Pheroid™ delivery system has improved the transdermal delivery of several compounds with its enhanced entrapment capabilities. Pheroid™ consists mainly of unsaturated essential fatty-acids, non-harmful substances that are easily recognised by the body (Grobler et al., 2008:285). The morphology and size of Pheroid™ is easily manipulated because it is a submicron emulsion type formulation which provides it with a vast flexibility profile (Grobler et al., 2008:284). Vesicular entrapment was used to entrap lidocaine HCl and prilocaine HCl in the Pheroid™ and incorporated into an emulgel formulation. An emulgel without the inclusion of Pheroid™ was formulated for comparison with the Pheroid™ emulgel as well as with a hydrogel. Pheroid™ solution was prepared and compared to a phosphate buffer solution (PBS) without Pheroid™, both containing lidocaine HCl and prilocaine HCl as APIs. Franz cell type transdermal diffusion studies were performed on the four semi-solid formulations (emulgel, Pheroid™ emulgel, hydrogel and the commercial product) and two solutions (PBS and Pheroid™). The diffusion studies were performed over a 12 h period followed by the tape stripping of the skin after each diffusion study. Caucasian female abdominal skin was obtained with consent from the donors. The skin for the diffusion cells were prepared by using a Zimmer Dermatome®. PBS (pH 7.4) was prepared as the receptor phase of the diffusion studies. The receptor phase was extracted at certain pre-determined time intervals and analysed with high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to determine the amount of API that had traversed the skin. Stratum corneum-epidermis samples and epidermis-dermis samples were prepared and left over night at 4 °C and analysed the next day with HPLC. This was done to determine the amount of API that accumulated in the epidermis-dermis and the amount of API that were left on the outer skin layers (stratum corneum-epidermis). The results from the Franz cell diffusion studies indicated that the emulgel formulation without Pheroid™ shortened the lag time of lidocaine HCl and that the emulgel formulated with Pheroid™ shortened the lag time of prilocaine HCl, when compared to the commercial product. Pheroid™ did not enhance the flux of lidocaine HCl and prilocaine HCl into the skin. The hydrogel formulation demonstrated a high transdermal flux of prilocaine HCl due to the hydrating effect it had on the stratum corneum. The commercial product yielded high flux values for both APIs but it did not result in a high concentration of the APIs delivered to the epidermis-dermis. Pheroid™ technology did, however, enhance the epidermal-dermal delivery of lidocaine HCl and prilocaine HCl into the skin epidermis-dermis. The stability of the emulgel formulation, Pheroid™ emulgel formulation and the hydrogel formulation was examined over a 6 month period. The formulations were stored at 25 °C/60% RH, 30 °C/60% RH and 40 °C/75% RH. The API concentration, mass, pH, zeta potential, particle size, viscosity and visual appearance for each formulation at the different storage conditions were noted and compared at month 0, 1, 2, 3 and 6 to determine if the formulations remained stable for 6 months. The results obtained from the stability study demonstrated that none of the formulations were stable for 6 months. The emulgel remained stable for the first 3 months. At 6 months, large decreases in API concentration and pH occurred which could cause a loss of anaesthetic action in the formulations. The Pheroid™ emulgel formulation did not remain stable for 6 months.
- Health Sciences