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    Isotretinoin is the first-line drug for treatment of severe acne. Only one polymorph was reported even though it has been launched for nearly 40 years, and its clinic application was however limited by its stability and solubility challenges. In our study, two new polymorphs of isotretinoin were discovered and fully characterized. The transformation relationships between these solid forms were fully discussed, and a visible color change during single-crystal-to-single-crystal phase transition with the conformational change was investigated. Form II is determined to be thermodynamic stable form at room temperature, but metastable form at body temperature. The results show that form II is an ideal solid state possessing both superior thermal stability (60℃, open air) and higher absorption once delivered into body. The thermal stability can be associated with the crystal structure such as torsion angle. The relative bioavailability of form II is higher than form I as expected, and the bioavailability of form II formulation is about 2 times as that of the marketed form I capsule. Therefore, form II formulation could provide an alternative for better performing isotretinoin. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


    Yinxiang Cheng, Xiaoyi Rong, Mengyuan Xia, Zaiyong Zhang, Jian-Rong Wang, Xuefeng Mei. Conformational polymorphs of isotretinoin and their impact on physicochemical and biological properties. International journal of pharmaceutics. 2021 Dec 15;610:121222

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    PMID: 34699948

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