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The generation of fluorometholone nanocrystal eye drops, their metabolization to dihydrofluorometholone and penetration into rabbit eyes

Baba, Koichi, Hashida, Noriyasu, Tujikawa, Motokazu, Quantock, Andrew J. ORCID: and Nishida, Kohji 2021. The generation of fluorometholone nanocrystal eye drops, their metabolization to dihydrofluorometholone and penetration into rabbit eyes. International Journal of Pharmaceutics 592 , 120067. 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2020.120067

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Fluorometholone is a widely used anti-inflammatory ophthalmic formulation, which elicits a lower ocular hypertensive response than other glucocorticoid medications. This serves to mitigate against the risk of steroid-induced glaucoma. Based on the hypothesis that an improved corneal permeability can increase the bioavailability of a drug, we sought to obtain fluorometholone in suspension with a small particle size. Accordingly, we describe the formulation of fluorometholone nanocrystal eye drops, which have a mean particle size of 201.2 ± 14.1 nm (standard deviation (s.d.)) when measured by dynamic light scattering. Scanning electron microscopy further indicates that fluorometholone nanocrystals are predominantly rectangular in shape. Fluorometholone microcrystals, on the other hand, with a mean particle size of 9.24 ± 4.51 µm (s.d.), tend to have a rod-like morphology. Powder x-ray diffraction revealed that fluorometholone microcrystal and nanocrystal formulations have the same crystal structure, with the main diffraction peaks at 2θ = 10.4 and 15.3°. The nanocrystal formulation was found to be stable, long-term, when stored at 10 °C for up to 6-months. High pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) of the aqueous humor of rabbit eyes 15–240 mins after the in vivo application of fluorometholone eye drops to the ocular surface revealed that the molecule had been converted to 20α-dihydrofluorometholone (with no evidence of a 20β-dihydrofluorometholone fraction), and that penetration was 2–6 fold higher and longer lasting with the nanocrystal, rather than the microcrystal, formulation. In current study we show how newly generated fluorometholone nanocrystals when administered as eye drops enter the anterior chamber of the eye and become metabolized to dihydrofluorometholone.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Optometry and Vision Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0378-5173
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 February 2023
Date of Acceptance: 6 November 2020
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 08:23

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