Xibornol is a lipophilic drug mainly used in Italy and Spain in spray dosage forms for the local treatment of infection and inflammation of the throat. Its poor water solubility makes difficult the development of aqueous formulations of the drug, thus giving rise to a limited number of stable and pharmaceutically accepted preparations. In fact, xibornol is actually marketed only as spray aqueous suspension. The aim of this work was to evaluate the possibility of developing a stable liquid formulation of the drug intended for oral spray administration using a self-microemulsifying drug delivery system (SMEDDS). These systems are able to adequately improve the drug solubility, allowing the introduction of relatively high concentration of drugs in the form of solution.
Labrafil M1944, Labrafil M2125 and Labrafac CC were screened as oil phases, Labrasol and Labrafac PG as surfactants and Transcutol as co-surfactant. Pseudo-ternary phase diagrams were constructed, by titration with the aqueous phase of different oil phases and surfactant/co-surfactant mixtures in order to identify the self-microemulsification region and the optimal micro-emulsion composition. Then, complete pharmaceutical formulations were prepared and evaluated for stability and viscosity properties. The final selected formulations, containing Labrafil M1944, Transcutol, Labrafac PG and a hydrophilic co-solvent (propylene glycol or PEG 200) allowed complete solubilization of the required xibornol concentration (3%, w/v) and showed physical good stability up to 2 months at 25 and 4 °C, suitable viscosity and organoleptic properties.