Effect of the melt granulation technique on the dissolution characteristics of griseofulvin
This work describes a melt granulation technique to improve the dissolution characteristics of a poorly water-soluble drug, griseofulvin. Melt granulation technique is a process by which pharmaceutical powders are efficiently agglomerated by a meltable binder. The advantage of this technique compared to a conventional granulation is that no water or organic solvents is needed. Because there is no drying step, the process is less time consuming and uses less energy than wet granulation. Granules were prepared in a lab scale high shear mixer, using a jacket temperature of 60 °C and an impeller speed of approximately 20,000 rpm. The effect of drug loading (2.5/5%), binder (PEG 3350/Gelucire 44/14), filler (starch/lactose), and HPMC on the dissolution of griseofulvin was investigated using a half two level-four factor factorial design. The granules were characterized using powder XRD, DSC and SEM techniques. A significant enhancement in the in vitro dissolution profiles of the granules was observed compared to the pure drug and drug excipient physical mixtures. The factorial design results indicated that higher drug loading and the presence of HPMC reduced the extent of dissolution of the drug, whereas, the presence of starch enhanced the dissolution rate. XRD data confirmed crystalline drug in formulation matrices. DSC results indicated monotectic mixtures of griseofulvin with PEG in the granulated formulations. In conclusion, the results of this work suggest that melt granulation is a useful technique to enhance the dissolution rate of poorly water-soluble drugs, such as, griseofulvin. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.