Simultaneous estradiol and levonorgestrel transdermal delivery from a 7-day patch: in vitro and in vivo drug deliveries of three formulations.
Author(s): Harrison LI, Zurth C, Gunther C, Karara AH, Melikian A, Lipp R
Affiliation(s): 3M Drug Delivery Systems, St. Paul, MN 55144, USA. email@example.com
Publication date & source: 2007-04, Drug Dev Ind Pharm., 33(4):373-80.
Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial
A new drug-in-adhesive transdermal patch was developed to deliver both estradiol and levonorgestrel through the skin over a 7-day period, but at different rates. This report elucidates the in vitro and in vivo biopharmaceutical studies that were necessary during the development of this product. Three test patches had to be manufactured, all delivering estradiol at the same rate, but delivering levonorgestrel at three different rates so that a levonorgestrel dose response could be studied in the clinic. An in vitro hairless mouse skin model (HMS) using modified Franz diffusion cells was used to select the test products delivering levonorgestrel in the order of 1:2:3. HMS experiments also demonstrated that the presence of estradiol did not affect the flux of levonorgestrel. Two in vivo studies in postmenopausal women showed that at steady state (four weeks of once-weekly dosing) the three test products all delivered estradiol at comparable rates. Similarly, the levonorgestrel deliveries for the three test products were in the order expected. The target fluxes of both drugs were achieved in these three test products by varying the drug loads and patch size. That this approach was successful is evidence of the value of using the HMS penetration experiments in transdermal product development and should provide useful insights for other formulations having to develop complex systems. One of the test products is now marketed as Climara Pro.