HPMC AS CAPSULE SHELL MATERIAL: PHYSICOCHEMICAL, PHARMACEUTICAL AND BIOPHARMACEUTICAL PROPERTIES
The most common instability problem of gelatin capsules arises from negative impact of extremes of temperature and especially atmospheric relative humidity on the mechanical integrity of the capsule shells with adverse effect extended even to the fill material. Moreover, choice of fill materials is highly restricted either due to their specific chemical structure, physical state or hygroscopicity. Additional reports of unpredictable disintegration and dissolution of filled hard gelatin capsules in experimental studies have prompted the search for a better alternative capsule shell material. The present review aims to provide an overview on the physicochemical, pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical properties of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) as capsule shell material and perform comparative evaluation of HPMC and gelatin in terms of in vitro/in vivo performance and storage stability. HPMC capsule provides a highly flexible and widely acceptable platform capable of solving numerous challenges currently facing the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries and expands the possibilities for selection of different types of fill materials. The current topic introduces a new section on influence of various factors on in vitro dissolution of HPMC capsules. Delayed in vitro disintegration/dissolution of HPMC capsules in aqueous medium does not produce any negative effect in vivo. However, advancements in the processes of production and filling of HPMC capsule shells and detailed studies on effects of various parameters on their in vitro/in vivo dissolution would establish their supremacy over hard gelatin capsules in future.
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