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Formulation, Optimization and Evaluation of Organogel for Topical Delivery of Acyclovir

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Background: The conventional acyclovir topical therapy has a low efficacy, due to the lack of penetration of a sufficient amount of drug to the target site.

Objective: The aim of this work was to formulate and optimize organogel containing acyclovir to enhance the penetration and retention time of acyclovir in the basal epidermis, site of Herpes simplex virus infections.

Methods: Microemulsion based organogel containing acyclovir was developed using the combination of surfactants, polar and nonpolar solvents. To investigate the microemulsion and gelling region, titration was carried out and pseudoternary phase diagram was constructed. The formulation was optimized by using 3-factor, 3-level, Box-Behnken design. Response surface plots were constructed for various response variables, viz. % drug permeation, viscosity and spreadability. The optimized formulation was searched utilizing overlay plots and desirability of the response. The optimized formulation was further characterized for microscopy, pH, ex-vivo permeation etc. Ex-vivo skin permeation showed first order drug diffusion through the skin and was found being stable upto 8 hrs.

Results: In case of developed organogel formulation, significantly higher amount of acyclovir was observed to be retained in the skin, as compared to retention observed with the conventional cream.

Conclusion: The results show that the ACV organogel penetrates into the skin and form the reservoir that can slowly release the drug for a longer period and may control viral growth more effectively.
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Keywords: Box behnken design; design of experiment; drug delivery; gels; microemulsion; pseudoternary phase diagram

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2018

This article was made available online on October 30, 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Formulation, Optimization and Evaluation of Organogel for Topical Delivery of Acyclovir".

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  • The aim of Current Drug Delivery is to publish peer-reviewed articles, short communications, short and in-depth reviews in the rapidly developing field of drug delivery. Modern drug research aims to build in delivery properties of a drug at the design phase, however in many cases this ideal cannot be met and the development of delivery systems becomes as important as the development as the drugs themselves.

    The journal aims to cover the latest outstanding developments in drug and vaccine delivery employing physical, physico-chemical and chemical methods. The drugs include a wide range of bioactive compounds from simple pharmaceuticals to peptides, proteins, nucleotides, nucleosides and sugars. The journal will also report progress in the fields of transport routes and mechanisms including efflux proteins and multi-drug resistance.

    The journal is essential for all pharmaceutical scientists involved in drug design, development and delivery.
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