Saquinavir (SQV) is a weak base compound, whose solubility is strongly influenced by pH variations. Thus, in the present work, we thought it worthy of interest to investigate in-depth the combined effect of pH control and cyclodextrin (CyD) complexation on SQV solubilization. Phase-solubility studies were performed by adding excess drug to buffered (pH from 1.1 to 7.4) aqueous solutions containing increasing concentrations of Methyl-Beta-CyD (M-β-CyD) in order to evaluate the role of the unionized species of SQV in improving solubility by CyD complexation and to be able to select the most suitable conditions for optimizing drug solubilization. Our study reveals that the integrated approach of pH adjustment and CyD complexation can be successfully used for improving the CyD solubilizing power towards an ionizable drug such as SQV, thus allowing a smaller quantity of CyD to solubilize a given amount of drug, offering clear economic and technologic advantages as well. When biopharmaceutics of the optimized cyclodextrin-based formulation of SQV was studied in Wistar rats after intravenous and oral administrations, we found that inclusion of SQV into M-β-CyD could dramatically improve its oral bioavailability and decrease the variation of its oral pharmacokinetics. Compared to the control, the presence of M-β-CyD significantly increased the area under the plasma concentration-time curve (439.7 ± 161.35 to 2312.03 ± 159.53, p< 0.01) and the peak plasma concentration (117.24 ± 35.77 to 1347.88 ± 276.76, p< 0.01) of orally administered SQV. The modulating effect of M-β-CyD on the bidirectional transport of SQV was also investigated using a modified Ussing chamber system. The results demonstrated that the enhancing effect of M-β-CyD on the oral bioavailability of SQV is due not only to its solubilizing effect on SQV but also, at least in part, to the inhibitory effect of M-β-CyD on the P-glycoprotein (P-gp) mediated efflux of SQV in the gastrointestinal tract. The present results suggest that M-β-CyD is particularly useful in designing oral preparations of SQV with an enhanced bioavailability and a reduced variability in absorption.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmaceutical Science