Ondansetron hydrochloride, a 5 HT3 antagonist is a powerful antiemetic drug which has oral bioavailability of 60% due to hepatic first pass metabolism and has a short half-life of 5 h. To overcome the above draw back, the present study was carried out to formulate and evaluate fast dissolving films of ondansetron hydrochloride for sublingual administration. The films were prepared from polymers such as polyvinylalcohol, polyvinyl pyrrolidone, Carbopol 934P in different ratios by solvent casting method. Propylene glycol or PEG 400 as plasticizers and mannitol or sodium saccharin as sweeteners were also included. The IR spectral studies showed no interaction between drug and polymer or with other additives. Satisfactory results were obtained when subjected to physico-chemical tests such as uniformity of weight, thickness, surface pH, folding endurance, uniformity of drug content, swelling index, bioadhesive strength, and tensile strength. Films were also subjected to in vitro drug release studies by using USP dissolution apparatus. Ex vivo drug permeation studies were carried out using porcine membrane model. In vitro release studies indicated 81-96% release within 7 min and 66-80% within 7 min during ex vivo studies. Drug permeation of 66-77% was observed through porcine mucosa within 40 min. Higher percentage of drug release was observed from films containing the sweeteners. The stability studies conducted for a period of 8 weeks showed no appreciable change in drug content, surface pH, and in vitro drug release.
Keywords: Fast dissolving films; ondansetron; polyvinyl alcohol; solvent casting; sublingual films.