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The objective of this study was to improve the dissolution rate and to enhance the stability of a poorly water-soluble and low glass-trasition temperature (T(g)) model drug, fenofibrate, in low molecular weight grades of hydroxypropylcellulose matrices produced by hot-melt extrusion (HME). Percent drug loading had a significant effect on the extrudability of the formulations. Dissolution rate of fenofibrate from melt extruded pellets was faster than that of the pure drug (p < 0.05). Incorporation of sugars within the formulation further increased the fenofibrate release rates. Differential scanning calorimetry results revealed that the crystalline drug was converted into an amorphous form during the HME process. Fenofibrate is prone to recrystallization due to its low T(g). Various polymers were evaluated as stabilizing agents among which polyvinylpyrrolidone 17PF and amino methacrylate copolymer exhibited a significant inhibitory effect on fenofibrate recrystallization in the hot-melt extrudates. Subsequently immediate-release fenofibrate tablets were successfully developed and complete drug release was achieved within 5 min. The dissolution profile was comparable to that of a currently marketed formulation. The hot-melt extruded fenofibrate tablets were stable, and exhibited an unchanged drug release profile after 3-month storage at 40°C/75% RH.


Weibin Deng, Soumyajit Majumdar, Abhilasha Singh, Sejal Shah, Noorullah Naqvi Mohammed, Seongbong Jo, Elanor Pinto, Divya Tewari, Thomas Durig, Michael A Repka. Stabilization of fenofibrate in low molecular weight hydroxypropylcellulose matrices produced by hot-melt extrusion. Drug development and industrial pharmacy. 2013 Feb;39(2):290-8

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PMID: 22524504

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