In the present investigation an attempt has been made to increase therapeutic efficacy, reduced frequency of administration and improved patient compliance by developing controlled release matrix tablets of verapamil hydrochloride. Verapamil hydrochloride was formulated as oral controlled release matrix tablets by using the polyethylene oxides (Polyox WSR 303). The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of polymer level and type of fillers namely lactose (soluble filler), swellable filler (starch 1500), microcrystalline cellulose and dibasic calcium phosphate (insoluble fillers) on the release rate and mechanism of release for verapamil hydrochloride from matrix tablets prepared by direct compression process. Higher polymeric content in the matrix decreased the release rate of drug. On the other hand, replacement of lactose with anhydrous dibasic calcium phosphate and microcrystalline cellulose has significantly retarded the release rate of verapamil hydrochloride. Biopharmaceutical evaluation of satisfactory formulations were also carried out on New Zealand rabbits and parameters such as maximum plasma concentration, time to reach peak plasma concentration, area under the plasma concentration time curve(0-t) and area under first moment curve(0-t) were determined. In vivo pharmacokinetic study proves that the verapamil hydrochloride from matrix tablets showed prolonged release and were be able to sustain the therapeutic effect up to 24 h.
Keywords: In vivo studies; matrix tablets; polyethylene oxides; verapamil hydrochloride.