African Journal of
Pharmacy and Pharmacology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pharm. Pharmacol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0816
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPP
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 2276

Full Length Research Paper

A preliminary attempt to address indomethacin’s poor water solubility using solid self emulsifying drug delivery system as a carrier

N. C. Obitte1*, K. C. Ofokansi2, S. A. Chime1, D. C. Odimegwu2, A. O. Ezema2 and U. E Odoh3
1Department of Pharmaceutical Technology and Industrial Pharmacy, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, 410001, Nigeria. 2Department of Pharmaceutics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria. 3Department of Pharmacognosy and Environmental Medicines, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 13 December 2013
  •  Published: 15 December 2013


The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), indomethacin, is disadvantaged by its poor water solubility and gastrointestinal adverse effects. The aim of this work therefore was to formulate this drug into solid self emulsifying drug delivery system (SSEDDS) as an attempt to improve its aqueous solubility and anti-inflammatory property using shea butter or its blend with Bos indicus lipid. Proximate analysis was carried out on shea butter. Indomethacin-loaded SSEDDS containing lipid (shea butter, Vitellaria paradoxa), surfactant (Tween 65) and cosurfactant (Span 85) or lipid blends (shea butter/Bos indicus fat), surfactant blends (Tween 65/Tween 80) and cosurfactant (Span 85) were formulated. The drug-loaded SSEDDS were evaluated for visual isotropicity, emulsification time, aqueous dilution, refrigeration test, loading efficiency, in vitro drug release and anti-inflammatory properties. Results showed that Shea butter contained 92.8% fat, 1.52% moisture, 2.05% protein, 9.78% carbohydrate and trace amounts of fiber and ash. Pre/post formulation isotropicity tests showed that all batches of indomethacin SSEDDS were stable. SSEDDS containing shea butter as the lipid component recorded significantly (p < 0.05) longer emulsification times than those containing lipid blends. The T85 of most of the batches was within 30 min. Shea butter-based SSEDDS demonstrated significantly (p < 0.05) higher anti-inflammatory effect than unformulated indomethacin powder. In conclusion, Shea butter conferred stability to the formulations and contributed to acceptable in vitro and superior anti-inflammatory characteristics of indomethacin.

Key words: Shea butter, Bos indicus fat, indomethacin, solid self emulsifying drug delivery system (SEDDS), anti-inflammatory.