Author(s): Corrigan OI
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Abstract A biopharmaceutic drug classification scheme for correlating the in-vitro drug product dissolution and in-vivo bioavailability for IR products was proposed by Amidon et al (1995). The classification arose from drug dissolution and absorption models which identified the key parameters controlling drug absorption as the dimensionless numbers; the Absorption number (A(n)), the Dissolution number (Dn) and the Dose number (D(o)). This led to a biopharmaceutic classification of drugs into four groups, the establishment of a basis for determining the conditions under which in-vitro-in-vivo (IVIV) correlation's are expected and the use of the classification to set drug bioavailability standards for IR products. These developments raise the issue of whether the biopharmaceutic classification has relevance to ER products. In contrast to IR products, drugs selected for ER products should have good gastrointestinal (GI) permeability and an extended site of absorption. However their permeability(Papp) may change depending on the site. Solubility(Cs), effective fluid volume and hence D(o) may also vary with site. Of particular relevance to both permeability and solubility is the degree of ionization of the drug. Residence time at each site, pH changes and the potential for drug degradation at different sites, the latter resulting in a restricted absorption window, will influence the time frame over which an IVIV relationship is possible. Of the drugs available in ER dosage forms approximately 63\% are bases, 15\% acids and the remainder either unionizable or small inorganic ions. Acidic drugs will tend to have lower solubility's high up in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), with solubility increasing down the GIT. In contrast with increased ionization permeability should fall. Thus with acids, as the dosage form moves to a more alkaline environment down the GIT, absorption may change from dissolution control to membrane control depending on the pK.a of the drug. In contrast bases will loose solubility with transit down the GIT, but become more permeable; absorption becoming more dissolution/release controlled or in extreme cases solubility controlled in the latter stages of the absorption phase. In the light of the above considerations a modified biopharmaceutic classification is proposed for ER products.
This article was published in Adv Exp Med Biol
and referenced in Journal of Bioequivalence & Bioavailability