The objectives of the work were to evaluate the binder properties of gum from Irvingia wombolu seed cotyledons and to compare with sodium carboxymethylcellulose (SCMC) in tramadol encapsulated granules. Tramadol granules was formulated by wet granulation using gum derived from the seed cotyledons of I. wombolu as binder at concentrations of 2.5, 5.0, 7.5, 10.0 and 15.0% w/w. The binder properties of the gum were compared with that of SCMC. The flow properties of the granules were studied by direct and indirect methods. The tramadol capsules were evaluated using necessary official tests. The phytochemical and physicochemical properties of the gum were also studied. The results showed that tramadol granules exhibited good flow for the production of quality capsules. Tramadol capsules formulated with Irvingia wombolu gum and SCMC, respectively complied with BP specification for capsules weight uniformity with percentage deviations below 10%. Capsule disintegration time ranged from 4.80 ± 0.43 min to 5.90 ± 0.45 min for tramadol capsules formulated with I. wombolu gum and were not significantly affected by concentration of gum in the formulation (p < 0.05). However, tramadol capsules formulated with I. wombolu gum exhibited faster disintegration time than SCMC (p < 0.05) whose disintegration time occurred at 14.20 ± 0.87 min. The results of phytochemical analysis of I. wombolu gum showed that the gum contains alkaloids, flavonoids, saponin, tannins and glycosides. Therefore, natural gum from I. wombolu has good potential to be used in formulating normal release tramadol capsules.
Key words: Irvingia wombolu gum, physicochemical characterization, micromeritic studies, capsule production.
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