The influence of heterogeneous nucleation on the surface crystallization of guaifenesin from melt extrudates containing Eudragit L10055 or Acryl-EZE.

Research paper by Caroline D CD Bruce, Kurt A KA Fegely, Ali R AR Rajabi-Siahboomi, James W JW McGinity

Indexed on: 10 Dec '09Published on: 10 Dec '09Published in: European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics


The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of talc and humidity conditions during storage on the crystal growth of guaifenesin on the surface of melt-extruded matrix tablets. Tablets consisted of the model drug guaifenesin in a matrix of either Acryl-EZE(R) or Eudragit(R) L10055 and either no talc, 25% or 50% talc. After processing, the hot-melt-extruded matrix tablets were supersaturated with amorphous guaifenesin, which resulted in the development of guaifenesin drug crystals on exposed surfaces of the tablet during storage (all tablets were stored at 24 degrees C). A previously developed, quantitative test was used to assay for surface guaifenesin. In tablets with a drug-to-polymer ratio of 19:81, talc-containing tablets exhibited an earlier onset of crystal growth (storage at 17% relative humidity). The presence of talc also increased the amount of surface crystallization and was independent of the talc concentration, since the talc levels used in this study exceeded the critical nucleant concentration. Additional non-melting components did not have an additive effect on surface crystal growth. High humidity during storage (78%) increased guaifenesin crystallization, but moisture uptake of tablets did not correlate with increased drug recrystallization. When storage at 17% relative humidity was interrupted for 3days by storage at 78% relative humidity before the tablets were returned to their previous low RH storage conditions, crystal growth quickly increased during the high RH interval and remained at an elevated level throughout the remaining storage period. A similar intermediate period of low, 17% relative humidity in tablets stored before and after that time at 78% RH did not affect surface crystallization levels. The effects of humidity and talc on the crystallization of guaifenesin from melt-extruded dosage forms supersaturated with amorphous drug were ascribed to heterogeneous nucleation.