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Maltodextrin: A Novel Excipient Used in Sugar-Based Orally Disintegrating Tablets and Phase Transition Process


The recent challenge in orally disintegrating tablets (ODT) manufacturing encompasses the compromise between instantaneous disintegration, sufficient hardness, and standard processing equipment. The current investigation constitutes one attempt to fulfill this challenge. Maltodextrin, in the present work, was utilized as a novel excipient to prepare ODT of meclizine. Tablets were prepared by both direct compression and wet granulation techniques. The effect of maltodextrin concentrations on ODT characteristics—manifested as hardness and disintegration time—was studied. The effect of conditioning (40°C and 75% relative humidity) as a post-compression treatment on ODT characteristics was also assessed. Furthermore, maltodextrin-pronounced hardening effect was investigated using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray analysis. Results revealed that in both techniques, rapid disintegration (30–40 s) would be achieved on the cost of tablet hardness (about 1 kg). Post-compression conditioning of tablets resulted in an increase in hardness (3 kg), while keeping rapid disintegration (30–40 s) according to guidance of the FDA for ODT. However, direct compression-conditioning technique exhibited drawbacks of long conditioning time and appearance of the so-called patch effect. These problems were, yet, absent in wet granulation-conditioning technique. DSC and X-ray analysis suggested involvement of glass-elastic deformation in maltodextrin hardening effect. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis of meclizine ODT suggested no degradation of the drug by the applied conditions of temperature and humidity. Overall results proposed that maltodextrin is a promising saccharide for production of ODT with accepted hardness-disintegration time compromise, utilizing standard processing equipment and phenomena of phase transition.

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Correspondence to Yosra Shaaban R. Elnaggar.

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Elnaggar, Y.S.R., El-Massik, M.A., Abdallah, O.Y. et al. Maltodextrin: A Novel Excipient Used in Sugar-Based Orally Disintegrating Tablets and Phase Transition Process. AAPS PharmSciTech 11, 645–651 (2010).

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Key words

  • disintegration time
  • maltodextrin
  • meclizine
  • orally disintegrating tablets
  • phase transition