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Application of hot-melt extrusion technology in immediate-release abuse-deterrent formulations

Klaus Wening, PhD, Sebastian Schwier, PhD, Hans-J. Stahlberg, MD, Eric Galia, PhD


Objective: Hot-melt extrusion (HME) technology has been used for manufacturing extended-release abuse-deterrent formulations (ADFs) of opioid-type analgesics with improved tamper-resistant properties. Our objective was to describe application of this technology to immediate-release (IR) ADFs.

Design: For development of a sample IR ADF (hydrocodone 10 mg/acetaminophen 325 mg) based on HME, feasibility studies were performed using different excipients. The formulation selected for further development was evaluated via in vitro test battery. Moreover, in vivo performance of IR ADF technologies was investigated in an open-label, randomized, cross-over, phase 1, relative oral bioavailability study with another opioid (model compound).

Setting: Single-center bioavailability trial.

Participants: Twenty-four healthy white male subjects.

Interventions: ADF IR formulation of an opioid and marketed IR formulation.

Main Outcome Measure(s): For feasibility and in vitro studies, dissolution profiles, syringeability, particle size distribution after physical manipulation, and extractability were evaluated. For the phase 1 study, pharmacokinetic parameters were evaluated and compared for ADF IR and a marketed IR formulation.

Results: After manipulation, the majority of particles from the ADF IR formulation were >500 μm and, thus, not considered suitable for intranasal abuse, while the majority of particles for the reference marketed IR formulation were <500 μm. The ADF IR formulation was resistant to syringing and preparation for potential intravenous injection. In healthy subjects, pharmacokinetics of an ADF and marketed IR formulation of an opioid were nearly identical.

Conclusions: Application of HME to IR formulations led to development of products with improved mechanical resistance to manipulation for intranasal or intravenous preparation, but similar bioavailability.


abuse-deterrent formulation, immediate-release, hot-melt extrusion

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