The Effect of Herbal Penetration Enhancers on the Skin Permeability of Mefenamic Acid Through Rat Skin

Turk J Pharm Sci. 2023 May 9;20(2):108-114. doi: 10.4274/tjps.galenos.2022.60669.


Objectives: Mefenamic acid (MA) is a strong non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, but because of its limited oral bioavailability and the side effects that come with taking it systemically, it is better to apply it topically. The major goal of this study was to see how certain permeation enhancers affected MA is in vitro skin permeability. In manufactured Franz diffusion cells, MA permeability tests using rat skin pretreatment with several permeation enhancers such as corn oil, olive oil, clove oil, eucalyptus oil, and menthol were conducted and compared to hydrate rat skin as a control.

Materials and methods: The steady-state flux (Jss), permeability coefficient (Kp), and diffusion coefficient are among the permeability metrics studied. The permeability enhancement mechanisms of the penetration enhancer were investigated using fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) to compare changes in peak position and intensities of asymmetric and symmetric C-H stretching, C=O stretching, C=O stretching (amide I), and C-N stretching of keratin (amide II) absorbance, as well as differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) to compare mean transition temperature and their enthalpies.

Results: Clove oil, olive oil, and eucalyptus oil were the most effective enhancers, increasing flux by 7.91, 3.32, and 2.6 times, as well as diffusion coefficient by 3.25, 1.34, and 1.25, respectively, when compared to moist skin. FTIR and DSC data show that permeation enhancers caused lipid fluidization, extraction, disruption of lipid structures in the SC layer of skin, and long-term dehydration of proteins in this area of the skin.

Conclusion: According to the findings, the permeation enhancers used improved drug permeability through excised rat skin. The most plausible mechanisms for greater ERflux, ERD, and ERP ratios were lipid fluidization, disruption of the lipid structure, and intracellular keratin irreversible denaturation in the SC by eucalyptus oil, menthol, corn oil, olive oil, and clove oil.

Keywords: Mefenemic acid; differential scanning calorimetry; fourier transform infrared spectroscopy; natural enhancers; percutaneous absorption.