Boosting transdermal delivery of atorvastatin calcium via o/w nanoemulsifying system: Two-step optimization, ex vivo and in vivo evaluation



Shaker DS, Ishak RAH, Elhuoni MA, Ghoneim AM.


Int J Pharm. 2020 Mar 30;578:119073. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2020.119073. Epub 2020 Jan 23.


A nanoemulsion system was designed for Atorvastatin calcium (ATOR) transdermal delivery to overcome its poor bioavailability of (30%) resulting from the extensive first-pass effect and dissolution rate-limited in vivo absorption. Pseudo ternary phase diagrams were developed, and various NE formulae were prepared using oleic acid (OA), Tween 80 as surfactant and PEG 400 as cosurfactant, ethanol and limonene as permeation enhancers (PEs). NEs were characterized for morphology, droplet size, zeta potential and in vitro release. The optimized formulae were assessed for ex vivo transdermal permeation and in vivo pharmacodynamic/pharmacokinetic studies. Hypocholesterolemic effect after 7 days skin treatment was detected and compared to oral ATOR dispersion. Finally, blood plasma levels were measured for 24 h for rats received the selected transdermal NE and transdermal drug in OA. The obtained results suggested the low potentiality of NE systems in transdermal delivery of lipophilic drugs, only the addition of PEs is driving factor for increasing drug flux through full thickness rat skin. In the optimized formula, the presence of ethanol and PEG 400 disrupts SC lipids exhibiting rapid ex vivo release profile compared to other NEs and to ATOR in OA. In contrast, the optimized NE achieved a prolonged plasma profile. Transdermal NE was significantly more efficient than oral administration in lowering cholesterol plasma level and in increasing ATOR bioavailability. In conclusion, data revealed no correlation between ex vivo and in vivo studies explained by the collapse of the follicles in ex vivo skin permeation study, leaving only the lipoidal pathway for NE to pass through, thus only NE components, neither nanosizing nor other reported mechanisms, are the main influencing factors. In vivo experiments suggested that o/w NE changed ATOR pathway to follicular delivery leading to accumulation of NE in follicles and consequently a prolonged plasma profile. CI – Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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Link/DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2020.119073