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The aim of this work was the design of sustained-release mucoadhesive bilayered tablets, using mixtures of mucoadhesive polymers and an inorganic matrix (hydrotalcite), for the topical administration of flurbiprofen in the oral cavity. The first layer, responsible for the tablet retention on the mucosa, was prepared by compression of a cellulose derivative and polyacrylic derivative blend. The second layer, responsible for buccal drug delivery, was obtained by compression of a mixture of the same (first layer) mucoadhesive polymers and hydrotalcite containing flurbiprofen. Nonmedicated tablets were evaluated in terms of swelling, mucosal adhesion, and organoleptic characteristics; in vitro and in vivo release studies of flurbiprofen-loaded tablets were performed as well.
The best results were obtained from the tablets containing 20 mg of flurbiprofen, which allowed a good anti-inflammatory sustained release in the buccal cavity for 12 hours, ensuring efficacious salivary concentrations, and led to no irritation. This mucoadhesive formulation offers many advantages over buccal lozenges because it allows for reduction in daily administrations and daily drug dosage and is suitable for the treatment of irritation, pain, and discomfort associated with gingivitis, sore throats, laryngopharyngitis, cold, and periodontal surgery. Moreover, it adheres well to the gum and is simple to apply, which means that patient compliance is improved.