Floating drug delivery of nevirapine as a gastroretentive system.
ABSTRACT A multiple-unit floating drug delivery system based on gas formation technique was developed, in order to prolong the gastric residence time and to increase the overall bioavailability of the dosage form. The floating bead formulations were prepared by dispersing nevirapine together with calcium carbonate in a mixture of sodium alginate and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose solution and then dripping the dispersion into an acidified solution of calcium chloride. Calcium alginate beads were formed, as the alginate underwent ionotropic gelation by calcium ions, and carbon dioxide developed from the reaction of carbonate salts with acid. The obtained beads were able to float due to CO(2)-gas formation and the gas entrapment by the polymeric membrane. The prepared beads were evaluated for percent drug loading, drug entrapment efficiency, morphology, surface topography, buoyancy, in-vitro release, and release kinetics. The formulations were optimized for different weight ratios of the gas-forming agent and sodium alginate. The beads containing higher amounts of calcium carbonate demonstrated an instantaneous, complete, and excellent floating ability over a period of 24 hours. The increased amount of the gas forming agent did not affect the time to float, but increased the drug release from the floating beads, while increasing the coating level of the gas-entrapped membrane, increased the time to float, and slightly retarded the drug release. Good floating properties and sustained drug release were achieved. Finally, these floating beads seemed to be a promising gastroretentive drug delivery system.