Pharmaceutical Research

, Volume 23, Issue 12, pp 2709–2728 | Cite as

A Review of Poloxamer 407 Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Characteristics

  • Gilles DumortierEmail author
  • Jean Louis Grossiord
  • Florence Agnely
  • Jean Claude Chaumeil
Review Article



Poloxamer 407 copolymer (ethylene oxide and propylene oxide blocks) shows thermoreversible properties, which is of the utmost interest in optimising drug formulation (fluid state at room temperature facilitating administration and gel state above sol–gel transition temperature at body temperature promoting prolonged release of pharmacological agents). Pharmaceutical evaluation consists in determining the rheological behaviour (flow curve or oscillatory studies), sol–gel transition temperature, in vitro drug release using either synthetic or physiological membrane and (bio)adhesion characteristics. Poloxamer 407 formulations led to enhanced solubilisation of poorly water-soluble drugs and prolonged release profile for many galenic applications (e.g., oral, rectal, topical, ophthalmic, nasal and injectable preparations) but did not clearly show any relevant advantages when used alone. Combination with other excipients like Poloxamer 188 or mucoadhesive polymers promotes Poloxamer 407 action by optimising sol–gel transition temperature or increasing bioadhesive properties. Inclusion of liposomes or micro(nano)particles in Poloxamer 407 formulations offers interesting prospects, as well. Besides these promising data, Poloxamer 407 has been held responsible for lipidic profile alteration and possible renal toxicity, which compromises its development for parenteral applications. In addition, new findings have demonstrated immuno-modulation and cytotoxicity-promoting properties of Poloxamer 407 revealing significant pharmacological interest and, hence, human trials are in progress to specify these potential applications.

Key words

adhesion copolymer gelation prolonged drug delivery rheology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gilles Dumortier
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jean Louis Grossiord
    • 2
  • Florence Agnely
    • 2
  • Jean Claude Chaumeil
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Galénique, UPRES EA 2498Faculté des Sciences Pharmaceutiques et Biologiques (Université Paris 5)Paris Cedex 06France
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Physique Pharmaceutique, UMR CNRS 8612Faculté de Pharmacie (Université Paris Sud XI)Châtenay-Malabry, ParisFrance

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