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AAPS PharmSciTech. 2003 December; 4(4): 480–488.
Published online 2003 October 20. doi:  10.1208/pt040461
PMCID: PMC2750654

Once-daily sustained-release matrix tablets of nicorandil: Formulation and in vitro evaluation


The objective of the present study was to develop once-daily sustained-release matrix tablets of nicorandil, a novel potassium channel opener used in cardiovascular diseases. The tablets were prepared by the wet granulation method. Ethanolic solutions of ethylcellulose (EC), Eudragit RL-100, Eudragit RS-100, and polyvinylpyrrolidone were used as granulating agents along with hydrophilic matrix materials like hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), sodium carboxymethylcellulose, and sodium alginate. The granules were evaluated for angle of repose, bulk density, compressibility index, total porosity, and drug content. The tablets were subjected to thickness, diameter, weight variation test, drug content, hardness, friability, and in vitro release studies. The granules showed satisfactory flow properties, compressibility, and drug content. All the tablet formulations showed acceptable pharmacotechnical properties and complied with in-house specifications for tested parameters. According to the theoretical release profile calculation, a oncedaily sustained-release formulation should release 5.92 mg of nicorandil in 1 hour, like conventional tablets, and 3.21 mg per hour up to 24 hours. The results of dissolution studies indicated that formulation F-I (drug-to-HPMC, 1[ratio]4; ethanol as granulating agent) could extend the drug release up to 24 hours. In the further formulation development process, F-IX (drug-to-HPMC, 1[ratio]4; EC 4% wt/vol as granulating agent), the most successful formulation of the study, exhibited satisfactory drug release in the initial hours, and the total release pattern was very close to the theoretical release profile. All the formulations (except F-IX) exhibited diffusion-dominated drug release. The mechanism of drug release from F-IX was diffusion coupled with erosion.

Keywords: nicorandil, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, ethylcellulose, sustained release, matrix tablets

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Selected References

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