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Comparative Study
, 29 (8), 925-38

Pharmaceutical Applications of Shellac: Moisture-Protective and Taste-Masking Coatings and Extended-Release Matrix Tablets

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Comparative Study

Pharmaceutical Applications of Shellac: Moisture-Protective and Taste-Masking Coatings and Extended-Release Matrix Tablets

N Pearnchob et al. Drug Dev Ind Pharm.

Abstract

Shellac is a natural polymer, which is used as enteric coating material in pharmaceutical applications. The major objective of the present study was to investigate the potential of shellac for other purposes, namely to provide moisture-protective and taste-masking coatings as well as extended-release matrix tablets. The efficiency of shellac to achieve moisture protection and taste masking was compared with that of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), which is most frequently used for these purposes. Shellac-coated tablets showed lower water uptake rates than HPMC-coated systems at the same coating level. The stability of acetylsalicylic acid was higher in tablets coated with shellac compared with HPMC-coated systems, irrespective of the storage humidity. Therefore, lower shellac coating levels were required to achieve the same degree of drug protection. Shellac coatings effectively masked the unpleasant taste of acetaminophen tablets. Compared to HPMC, again lower coating levels were required to achieve similar effects. The resulting drug release in simulated gastric fluid was not significantly altered by the thin shellac coatings, which rapidly ruptured due to the swelling of the coated tablet core. In addition, shellac was found to be a suitable matrix former for extended-release tablets. The latter could be prepared by direct compression or via wet granulation using ethanolic or ammoniated aqueous shellac binder solutions. The resulting drug-release patterns could effectively be altered by varying different formulation and processing parameters.

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