A research team has developed an inexpensive and tasty gel made from vegetable oils suitable for ‘packaging’ medicinal substances. With this shell, the active ingredients are much easier to swallow.
The method has already been successfully tested in animal experiments with three active ingredients that are of particular importance for children in developing countries: the parasite drug praziquantel, lumefantrine for the treatment of malaria and the antibiotic azithromycin.
For each of these drugs, oleogels have proved capable of delivering amounts at least as high as those absorbed by tablets. A water-soluble drug, the antibiotic moxifloxacin hydrochloride, could also be produced as an oleogel. The medicines are stable up to 40 °C for several weeks and up to 60 °C for one week – temperatures that can be reached when medicines are transported by truck without refrigeration.
“A lot of the work we’ve done so far has focused on drugs for infectious diseases. These clearly stood out in terms of what is needed to protect children. But formulation-wise, it doesn’t matter what drug we make using this method,” said Dr. Ameya Kirtane of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “This method will make it easier to take medication for children and also for adult patients.”
To store and deliver the drugs, the team also designed a squeezable pack with individual compartments for separate dosing. This makes it easier to give each child the correct dosage based on their body weight.
Those: DOI: 10.1126 / sciadv.abm8478