Design and development of a self-microemulsifying drug delivery system of olmesartan medoxomil for enhanced bioavailability

Drug Dev Ind Pharm. 2019 Aug;45(8):1292-1305. doi: 10.1080/03639045.2019.1607868. Epub 2019 May 17.


Olmesartan medoxomil (OM) is a hydrophobic antihypertensive drug with low bioavailability (26%) and is known to have adverse effects such as celiac disease and enteropathy. The purpose of this study was to develop SMEDDS to increase bioavailability and decrease potential side effects of OM. Hydrophilic lipophilic balance was calculated by testing solubility of OM in different oils, surfactants, and cosurfactants to obtain the most suitable combination of SMEDDS. Pseudoternary phase diagram was used to select the better oil/water formulation of SMEDDS. After a test for 3-month stability, dissolution tests and parallel artificial membrane permeability assay (PAMPA) were conducted to investigate drug solubility and permeability. Biodistribution of fluorescent marked SMEDDS was observed by using in vivo imaging system. The pharmacodynamics of the drug were determined by measuring blood pressure from tails of rats. At the end of the experiment, intestines were examined for adverse effects of OM. Compared with tablet formulation according to the dissolution study, SMEDDS formulation showed 1.67 times improvement in solubility of OM. PAMPA studies suggested a much faster permeability rate for OM SMEDDS compared to the suspension form. Labeled SMEDDS gave 3.96 times stronger fluorescent emission than control dye administered mice in in vivo imaging system (IVIS®) studies, indicating an increased bioavailability. Treating effect of SMEDDS was 3.1 times more efficient compared to suspension in hypertensive rats. It caused neither celiac-like enteropathy nor diarrhea, during 21-day noninvasive blood pressure system (NIBP) assay. Our results suggest that SMEEDS formulation improves dissolution and oral bioavailability of OM while reducing its adverse effects.

Keywords: IVIS; NIBP; Olmesartan; PAMPA; SMEDDS; bioavailability; celiac.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Biological Availability
  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical / methods
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods
  • Emulsions / chemistry*
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Oils / chemistry
  • Olmesartan Medoxomil / chemistry*
  • Particle Size
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Solubility / drug effects
  • Surface-Active Agents / chemistry
  • Suspensions / chemistry
  • Tablets / chemistry
  • Tissue Distribution / drug effects


  • Emulsions
  • Oils
  • Surface-Active Agents
  • Suspensions
  • Tablets
  • Olmesartan Medoxomil