Preparation, Characterization and In-Vitro Diffusion Study of Different Topical Flurbiprofen Semisolids

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Saba A. Jaber
Halah T. Sulaiman
Nawal A. Rajab


Flurbiprofen (FLB) is chemically 2-(3- fluoro-4-phenyl phenyl) propanoic acid. It is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Oral administration of this drug is associated with severe gastrointestinal side effects like ulceration and gastrointestinal bleeding. The solution to this problem lies in the fact that topically applied NSAIDs are safer than orally. This study aims to prepare different topical semisolid formulation of FLB as cream base (o/w), (w/o) and gel base using different gel-forming agents in different concentrations. Comparing characterization properties in addition to release and diffusion study for all the prepared formulas to select the best one.
Method: Topical semisolid FLB preparations were formulated using different semisolid formulation starting from emulsion bases w/o and o/w comparing with different gelling agents in different concentrations which include carbopol 934, sodium carboxy methylcellulose(SCMC) and combination of both polymer in different concentration to get 1% gelling agents. All the gel formulations were evaluated for physical appearance, pH, spreadability, rheological studies, drug content, in vitro release and diffusion studies.
Results: All gel formulations which contain gelling agent exhibit better in vitro drug release and permeation compared with the emulsion bases, especially 1% polymer combination. Ethanol exerts a significant effect (p less than 0.05) on the in vitro drug release and diffusion for 2% carpbopol 934 compared with SCMC. Drug content was found to be uniform in all the formulations. The pH ranges of formulated gels were found to be suitable for topical application.
Conclusion: Based on overall results, FLB can be successfully prepared as topical semisolid preparation with accepted properties.

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Research Article