Evaluation of various dissolution media for predicting in vivo performance of class I and II drugs

Pharm Res. 1998 May;15(5):698-705. doi: 10.1023/a:1011910801212.


Purpose: In this paper we seek to verify the differences in dissolution behavior between class I and class II drugs and to evaluate the suitability of two new physiologically based media, of Simulated Gastric Fluid (SGF) and of milk for their ability to forecast trends in the in vivo performance of class II compounds and their formulations.

Methods: Dissolution behavior of two class I drugs, i.e. acetaminophen and metoprolol, and of three class II drugs, i.e. danazol, mefenamic acid and ketoconazole, was studied with USP Apparatus 2 in water, SGF, milk, Simulated Intestinal Fluid without pancreatin (SIFsp) and in two media simulating the small intestinal contents in the fed (FeSSIF) and fasted (FaSSIF) states, respectively.

Results: Class I powders dissolved rapidly in all media tested. Acetaminophen dissolution in milk was slow from one tablet formulation, in all other cases dissolution was more than 85% complete in 15 minutes. The dissolution rate of metoprolol was shown to be dependent on formulation and manufacturing method, and one of the three tablet formulations did not meet compendial specifications (80%/30 minutes). Dissolution behavior of class II drugs was greatly affected by choice of medium. Dissolution from a capsule formulation of danazol proved to be dependent on the concentration of solubilizing agents, with a the 30-fold increase in percentage dissolved within 90 minutes upon changing from aqueous media without surfactants to FaSSIF. Use of FeSSIF or milk as the dissolution medium resulted in an even greater increase in percentage dissolved, 100 and 180-fold respectively. Dissolution of the weak acid mefenamic acid from a capsule formulation is dependent on both pH and bile salt concentration, which leads to an offset between increased bile salt concentration and lower pH in the fed state compared to the fasted state medium. The weak base ketoconazole showed complete dissolution from a tablet formulation in Simulated Gastric Fluid without pepsin (SGFsp) within 30 minutes, 70% dissolution in 2 hours under fed state simulated upper jejunal conditions but only 6% dissolution in 2 hours under fasted state conditions.

Conclusions: As predicted, dissolution of class II drugs proved to be in general much more dependent on the medium than class I drugs. With the array of compendial and physiological media available, it should be possible to design a suitable set of tests to predict the in vivo dissolution of both class I and II drugs from immediate release formulations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen / chemistry
  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic / chemistry
  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / chemistry
  • Antifungal Agents / chemistry
  • Antihypertensive Agents / chemistry
  • Capsules / chemistry
  • Danazol / chemistry
  • Estrogen Antagonists / chemistry
  • Ketoconazole / chemistry
  • Mefenamic Acid / chemistry
  • Metoprolol / chemistry
  • Milk
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / chemistry*
  • Solubility*
  • Water


  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Antifungal Agents
  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Capsules
  • Estrogen Antagonists
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Water
  • Acetaminophen
  • Mefenamic Acid
  • Metoprolol
  • Danazol
  • Ketoconazole