Mechanical Properties of Topical Anti-Psoriatic Medicines: Implications for Patient Satisfaction with Treatment


Different types of topical preparations are available as anti-psoriatic medicines, semisolid formulations being the preferred dosage forms for the treatment of body lesions. The mechanical characterization of these semisolid formulations is seldom reported, although mechanical features have been recognized to play an important role in treatment acceptability and adherence. The aim of this study was to characterize the mechanical properties of semisolid topical formulations commercially available for psoriasis treatment. One complementary aim was to evaluate patient satisfaction with topical treatment and discuss the results according to the mechanical features of the dosage form. Eight ointments (O 1–8), five creams (C 1–5), one oleogel (G1), and one excipient (E1—petrolatum) were characterized for textural properties (spreadability and penetration tests) and flow behavior. Power law model was fitted to the results. A questionnaire for the assessment of satisfaction with topical medicines used for psoriasis treatment over 6 months was developed and applied to 79 psoriasis patients. All the tested formulations presented a shear-thinning behavior with power law indexes (n) lower than 1. Ointments were distinct from the other dosage forms, since they presented higher consistency coefficients (K), firmness, and adhesiveness and this was evidenced by hierarchical cluster analysis, which identified two clusters based on the mechanical properties. Cluster 1 included the ointments and petrolatum and the cluster 2 enclosed the creams and the gel. The clusters were associated with several attributes classified by patients as analyzed with Fisher’s exact test. In all cases, higher satisfaction was observed for cluster 2. The knowledge obtained regarding the influence of the dosage form on the degree of satisfaction with the treatment could be helpful in supporting the selection of the dosage form in clinical practice and thus improve treatment adherence and clinical outcomes. The differences observed between the mechanical properties of the formulations studied may be also relevant to the industry, as guidance to the development of new medicines.

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This work was supported by Cooperativa de Ensino Superior Universitário (CESPU) under the Grants “POSOL_DERM_CESPU_2016” and “PHARM4ADHER_CESPU_2017.”

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Correspondence to P. C. Costa.

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Teixeira, A., Vasconcelos, V., Teixeira, M. et al. Mechanical Properties of Topical Anti-Psoriatic Medicines: Implications for Patient Satisfaction with Treatment. AAPS PharmSciTech 20, 36 (2019).

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  • psoriasis
  • topical medicines
  • rheological analysis
  • texture
  • patient preference