, Volume 12, Issue 11, pp 1561-1572

Lipid Microemulsions for Improving Drug Dissolution and Oral Absorption: Physical and Biopharmaceutical Aspects

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Purpose. This review highlights the state-of-the-art in pharmaceutical microemulsions with emphasis on self-emulsifying systems, from both a physical and biopharmaceutical perspective. Although these systems have several pharmaceutical applications, this review is primarily focused on their potential for oral drug delivery and intestinal absorption improvement.

Methods. Physicochemical characteristics and formulation design based on drug solubility and membrane permeability are discussed.

Results. Case studies in which lipid microemulsions have successfully been used to improve drug solubilization/dissolution and/or intestinal absorption of poorly absorbed drugs/peptides are presented.

Conclusions. Drug development issues such as commercial viability, mechanisms involved, range of applicability, safety, scale-up and manufacture are outlined, and future research and development efforts to address these issues are discussed.