Microencapsulation of erythromycin and clarithromycin using a spray-drying technique

J Microencapsul. 1999 Sep-Oct;16(5):565-71. doi: 10.1080/026520499288762.


Previous methods of microencapsulation are unable to process particles smaller than 100 microm without organic solvents or the use of multistep processes. The present study investigates the feasiblity of a one-step spray-drying process to microencapsulate erythromycin and clarithromycin, antibiotics known to have an unpleasant, bitter taste. Mixtures of clarithromycin (5% by weight) or erythromycin (30% by weight) with a biodegradable polymer were prepared and spray-dried under specific conditions of temperature and turbine speed. This process resulted in the microencapsulation of 80% of each drug as determined by high pressure liquid chromatography. Particle size ranged from 1 to 80 microm as determined by electron microscopy. These data show that microencapsulation of macrolides using a spray-drying technique is feasible. Spray-drying microencapsulation might be useful in the formulation of palatable oral suspensions of bitter tasting drugs.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry*
  • Capsules
  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical / methods
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Clarithromycin / administration & dosage
  • Clarithromycin / chemistry*
  • Drug Compounding
  • Erythromycin / administration & dosage
  • Erythromycin / chemistry*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Particle Size


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Capsules
  • Erythromycin
  • Clarithromycin