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Development and Optimization by Quality by Design Strategies of Frovatriptan Orally Disintegrating Tablets for Migraine Management

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Background: Frovatriptan is a potent anti-migraine agent with unfavourable slow onset of action, available on the market as film-coated tablets.

Objective: Optimization, by Quality by Designs strategies, of an orally disintegrating tablet (ODT) formulation of frovatriptan aimed to make its oral administration easier and its dissolution faster than the commercial tablets, thus improving its effectiveness in migraine management.

Method: A screening D-optimal design was applied to investigate the effects of different levels of kind and amount of ODT special excipient and disintegrant agents (identified as the critical variables) on disintegration time (DT) and % drug dissolved at 30 s (%Diss), selected as the responses to optimize. The best excipients combination, emerged by the screening step, was in-depth investigated by a Response Surface Methodology.

Results: A design space was defined where every combination of the selected variables fulfilled the required values for the responses with P ≥ 95%. In particular, the optimized formulation (Pharmaburst┬« 60% and Na alginate 15%), showed DT = 1.62┬▒0.08 s and %Diss= 9.02┬▒0.47%, with good agreement between measured and calculated values. Moreover, the developed ODT complied with the USP uniformity weight and drug content requirements, exhibited proper hardness and low friability, and provided 100 % dissolved drug within 5 min.

Conclusion: A frovatriptan ODT formulation was successfully developed by Quality by Design. It represents an effective alternative to conventional tablets, allowing easier oral administration (also to paediatric and geriatric people) and very faster drug dissolution, enhancing patient compliance and facilitating an earlier treatment of migraine attacks.
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Keywords: Dissolution rate; frovatriptan; migraine management; oral drug delivery; orally disintegrating tablets; quality by design

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2018

This article was made available online on August 21, 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Development and Optimization by Quality by Design Strategies of Frovatriptan Orally Disintegrating Tablets for Migraine Management".

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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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