The aim of the current study was to design oral fast-release polymeric tablets of prednisone and to optimize the drug dissolution profile by modifying the carrier concentration. Solid dispersions were prepared by the solvent evaporation method at different drug:polymer ratios (wt/wt). The physical state and drug:carrier interactions were analyzed by X-ray diffraction, infrared spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. The dissolution rate of prednisone from solid dispersions was markedly enhanced by increasing the polymer concentration. The tablets were prepared from solid dispersion systems using polyethylene glycol (PEG) 6000 as a carrier at low and high concentration. The results showed that PEG 6000-based tablets exhibited a significantly higher prednisone dissolution (80% within 30 minutes) than did conventional tablets prepared without PEG 6000 (<25% within 30 minutes). In addition, the good disintegration and very good dissolution performance of the developed tablets without the addition of superdisintegrant highlighted the suitability of these formulated dosage forms. The stability studies performed in normal and accelerated conditions during 12 months showed that prednisone exhibited high stability in PEG 6000 solid dispersion powders and tablets. The X-ray diffraction showed that the degree of crystallinity of prednisone in solid dispersions decreased when the ratio of the polymer increased, suggesting that the drug is present inside the samples in different physical states. The Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic studies showed the stability of prednisone and the absence of well-defined drug:polymer interactions. Scanning electron microscopy images showed a novel morphology of the dispersed systems in comparison with the pure components.
Keywords: Solid dispersions, PEG 6000, prednisone, dissolution rate, tablets