Nanosized particles of orlistat with enhanced in vitro dissolution rate and lipase inhibition

Int J Pharm. 2010 Aug 30;396(1-2):149-55. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2010.06.003. Epub 2010 Jun 9.


Orlistat is locally acting inhibitor of gastrointestinal lipases which has been developed for the treatment of obesity. The present study was designed with the intent to formulate orlistat in a different way compared to the current practice and investigate its inhibition of gastrointestinal lipases. Orlistat is considered as a technologically problematic and unmanageable substance because of waxy nature, low melting point and low chemical stability. The manuscript presents the critical issues regarding engineering of its nanosuspension with controlled particle size by melt emulsification and high pressure homogenization. In order to formulate dry product, lactose was dissolved in nanosuspension as filler and spray drying has been performed for obtaining the final powder product. Laser diffraction, scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy have been used for orlistat nanosuspension characterization, dissolution studies and lipase inhibition studies were performed to characterize the in vitro efficacy of formulated orlistat. The advantage of selected technological procedures is nanosized orlistat with elevated in vitro dissolution rate in comparison to raw drug, physical mixture and marketed product. Furthermore, nanosuspension demonstrated significantly higher in vitro lipase inhibition in comparison to references. To conclude, the results show new technological solution and remarkable increase of pharmacological effect which could potentially lead to decreasing the dose and consequently dose dependent side effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Obesity Agents / chemistry*
  • Anti-Obesity Agents / pharmacology*
  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical
  • Drug Compounding
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / chemistry*
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Kinetics
  • Lactones / chemistry*
  • Lactones / pharmacology*
  • Lactose / chemistry
  • Lipase / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Nanoparticles
  • Nanotechnology
  • Orlistat
  • Powders
  • Solubility
  • Surface Properties
  • Technology, Pharmaceutical / methods


  • Anti-Obesity Agents
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Lactones
  • Powders
  • Orlistat
  • Lipase
  • Lactose