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Research Article Open Access
The unique anatomical arrangement of blood vessels and sinuses in the human skull and the brain, the prevalence of a high density of skin appendages in the scalp, extracranial vessels of the scalp communicating with the brain via emissary veins and most importantly, the way that the scalp is used in Ayurvedic medical system in treating diseases associated with the brain show that a drug could be transcranially delivered and targeted to the brain through the scalp. The present study was to investigate by measuring the antinociceptive effect on rats whether the opioid analgesic methadone could be delivered and targeted to the brain by transcranial delivery route. A non aqueous solution of methadone base in sesame oil was used for the application on the scalp. Animal studies were carried out using six groups of male rats consisting of group 1, the oral control treated with distilled water 1 ml; group 2, the oral positive control treated with methadone hydrochloride solution 316.5 μg/ml; group 3, the negative control treated transcranially with the blank sesame oil 0.2 ml and three test groups 4, 5 and 6 treated with three different dose levels of the transcranial oil formulation of methadone base, 41.6 μg/0.2 ml, 104 μg/0.2 ml and 208 μg/0.2 ml, respectively. The antinociceptive effects were examined by subjecting the rats to the hot plate and tail flick tests. The two higher concentrations of the three transcranial methadone formulations yielded response vs time curves showing nearly equal maximum antinociceptive effects similar to that of the oral positive control. Maximum analgesic effect after transcranial administration was observed between 1st and 2nd h and declined up to 6th hour. The results indicate that the transcranial brain targeted delivery of methadone base in the form of an oil based non aqueous solution results in statistically significant antinociceptive effects under experimental conditions. Therefore, it is possible to deliver central nervous system drugs through the proposed transcranial route when suitably formulated.
Transcranial route (TCR), emissary veins, intracranial sinuses, catchment area, methadone base, brain targeted