AAPS PharmSciTech

, Volume 19, Issue 8, pp 3886–3894 | Cite as

In Vivo Evaluation of Taste-Masked Fast-Disintegrating Sublingual Tablets of Epinephrine Microcrystals

  • Ousama Rachid
  • Keith J. Simons
  • Mutasem Rawas-QalajiEmail author
Research Article


In community settings, IM injection of 0.3 mg epinephrine (Epi) using an auto-injector is the drug of choice for treatment of anaphylaxis. Previously, a taste-masking (TM) formulation of fast-disintegrating sublingual tablets (FDSTs) was developed in our lab. Also, Epi was micronized (Epi-MC) successfully and reduced the previously achieved bioequivalent sublingual Epi dose to 0.3 mg IM injection by half using non-taste-masked fast-disintegrating sublingual tablets (TM-FDSTs). Our objective for this study was to evaluate the sublingual absorption of Epi-MC using TM-FDST. These sublingual Epi tablets have potential for out-of-hospital treatment of anaphylaxis and are suitable for human studies. TM-FDSTs containing Epi-MC were manufactured by direct compression. The rate and extent of Epi absorption from our developed 20 mg Epi-MC-TM-FDSTs (n = 5) were evaluated in rabbits and compared to the previous result from 20 mg Epi-MC in non-TM-FDSTs and EpiPen® auto-injector. Blood samples were collected over 1 h, and Epi concentrations were measured using HPLC with electrochemical detection. Mean ± SEM AUC0–1 h and Cmax from 20 mg Epi-MC-TM-FDSTs (733 ± 78 ng/ml/min and 30 ± 8 ng/ml) and 20 mg Epi-MC-non-TM-FDSTs (942 ± 109 ng/ml/min and 38 ± 4 ng/ml) were not significantly different (p > 0.05) from each other or from EpiPen® (592 ± 50 ng/ml/min and 28 ± 3 ng/ml) but were significantly higher (p < 0.05) than endogenous Epi after placebo FDSTs (220 ± 32 ng/ml/min and 8 ± 1 ng/ml). Mean ± SD Tmax was not significantly different (p > 0.05) among all formulations. Epi-MC-TM-FDSTs formulation improved Epi absorption twofold and reduced the required bioequivalent dose by 50%, similar to results obtained using non-TM-FDSTs. The incorporation of TM excipients did not interfere with the absorption of Epi-MC.


absorption adrenaline anaphylaxis epinephrine microcrystals sublingual tablets 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

The protocol for the in vivo study, which was performed in a validated rabbit model, was reviewed and approved by the Protocol Management and Review Committee in the University of Manitoba. The guidelines of the Canadian Council on Animal Care were followed (36).

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ousama Rachid
    • 1
  • Keith J. Simons
    • 2
  • Mutasem Rawas-Qalaji
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.College of PharmacyQatar UniversityDohaQatar
  2. 2.Faculty of PharmacyUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  3. 3.College of PharmacyNova Southeastern UniversityFort LauderdaleUSA
  4. 4.Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Allopathic MedicineNova Southeastern UniversityFort LauderdaleUSA

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