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ISSN: 2329-6631
Journal of Developing Drugs
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Pharmaceutical Applications of Eutectic Mixtures

Urvi Gala, Hoang Pham and Harsh Chauhan*

Department of Pharmacy Sciences, Creighton University, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Harsh Chauhan
Department of Pharmacy Sciences
School of Pharmacy and Health Professions
Creighton University, USA
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: August 29, 2013; Accepted Date: August 29, 2013; Published Date: September 04, 2013

Citation: Gala U, Pham H, Chauhan H (2013) Pharmaceutical Applications of Eutectic Mixtures. J Develop Drugs 2:e130. doi: 10.4172/2329-6631.1000e130

Copyright: © 2013 Gala U, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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A eutectic mixture is defined as a mixture of two or more components which usually do not interact to form a new chemical compound but, which at certain ratios, inhibit the crystallization process of one another resulting in a system having a lower melting point than either of the components [1]. Eutectic mixtures, can be formed between Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), between APIs and excipient or between excipient; thereby providing a vast scope for its applications in pharmaceutical industry. Eutectic mixture formation is usually, governed by following factors: (a) the components must be miscible in liquid state and mostly immiscible in solid state [1], (b) Intimate contact between eutectic forming materials is necessary for contact induced melting point depression [2], (c) the components should have chemical groups that can interact to form physical bonds such has intermolecular hydrogen bonding etc., (d) the molecules which are in accordance to modified VantHoff’s equation can form eutectic mixtures [3].

Applications of Eutectic Mixtures in Pharmaceutical Industry

During pre formulation stage, compatibility studies between APIs and excipient play a crucial role in excipient selection. Testing for eutectic mixture formation can help in anticipation of probable physical incompatibility between drug and excipient molecules. Eutectic mixtures are commonly used in drug designing and delivery processes for various routes of administration. (Table 1) lists few examples of eutectic mixtures and their application. During manufacturing of pharmaceutical dosage form, it is extremely necessary to anticipate the formation of eutectics and avoid manufacturing problems if any. For example, during tablet compaction the heat produced in the punch and die cavities may lead to fusion or melting of tablet powder compacts leading to manufacturing defects. Thus knowledge of eutectic points of powder components may help avoid these problems. During pharmaceutical analysis, understanding of eutectic mixtures can help in the identification of compounds having similar melting points. Compounds having similar melting points, as a rule will have different eutectic point with a common other component [4]. This knowledge could be used to identify compounds like Ergotamine, Allobarbital etc. (Table 2). The listed drugs can be distinguished by their tendency to form eutectic mixtures with Benzanilide.

S No Eutectic Components (a,b) Ratio Tm °C (a) Tm °C (b) Tm °C (e) Challenges Findings
1 Curcumin, Nicotinamide [5] 1:2 181.4 128.3 110.5 Oral route-
Low solubility, poor oral bioavailability
10-fold faster IDR and 6-times higher AUC compared to crystalline
curcumin.
2 Ibuprofen, Thymol [1] 2:3 76.0 52.0 [6] 32.0 Transdermal Route-
Limited ability to penetrate the skin
A flux of 150 mg/ cm / h, 5.9 times the flux from a saturated aqueous solution with
thymol pretreated skin and 12.7 times the flux from a saturated aqueous solution across non-pretreated skin
3 Genistein, PEG 460 [7] 1:24 305.0 2.0 0.2 Parentral Route-
Low aqueous solubility, thus formulation difficulty.
Could help in solubilization of geinstein crystals for injection development.
4 Borneol, Menthol
(Active 125I-cobrotoxin and eutectic mixture mixed) [8]
1:3 - - - Nasal Route-
Blood Brain Barrier
The eutectic mixture of Borneol Menthol, enhanced formulation and passage of active across the blood brain barrier.
5  Menthol and Poloxamer 188, Ibuprofen
(Liquid-gel like Suppository) [9]
1:9 - - - Rectal Route-
Low bioavailability
Higher AUC as compared to a solid suppository.

Table 1: Applications of eutectic mixtures in formulation development.

S No Drug Tm°C Tm(Eutectic)°C
1 Allobarbital 173.0 144.0
2 Ergotamine 172.0-174.0 135.0
3 Imipramine HCl 172.0-174.0 109.0

Table 2: Eutectic Temperature of Drugs with Benzanilide [4].

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