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Propranolol is used as the first-line treatment for infantile hemangiomas (IHs). As oral formulations can cause systemic adverse drug reactions (ADRs), we prepared topical propranolol formulations and evaluated their pharmaceutical profiles. We also present three cases of pediatric patients with IHs who were treated with the propranolol formulations. Propranolol cream (hydrophilic cream, 1, 3, and 5%) and gels (carboxyvinyl polymer, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, gellan gum, 1%) were prepared. The in vitro skin permeability of these formulations was assessed using Franz-type diffusion cells. The pharmaceutical profiles, including propranolol content, pH, and ductility, of the propranolol creams were evaluated. For the stability test, similar pharmaceutical evaluations were performed after the creams were stored at 25 °C and 56% relative humidity for 3 months. We examined three patients treated with propranolol cream to investigate the clinical course of IH and adverse events after the propranolol cream was applied for 5-12 months. In the in vitro skin permeability assay, topical propranolol formulations made of hydrophilic cream and gellan gum permeated the most. The amount of propranolol that permeated increased with propranolol concentration. After storage for 3 months, no substantial changes were observed in any pharmaceutical profile. The IHs were discolored in all patients. Tumor size also decreased in some patients. Furthermore, no adverse events caused by propranolol cream were observed during application. In conclusion, propranolol cream can be prepared as a hospital formulation with adequate quality. Topical propranolol therapy is effective in reducing the incidence of systemic ADRs.


Yasuharu Kashiwagura, Akio Hakamata, Masami Shirai, Akira Endoh, Shimako Tanaka, Naoki Inui, Hiroshi Watanabe, Noriyuki Namiki, Shinya Uchida. Topical Formulations of Propranolol for Infantile Hemangiomas: Characteristics of Formulations and Three Cases of Infants Administered Topical Propranolol Cream. Chemical & pharmaceutical bulletin. 2022;70(4):277-282

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PMID: 35370204

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