Polymorphism in anhydrous theophylline - Implications on the dissolution rate of theophylline tablets

Neelima V. Phadnis, Raj Suryanarayanan

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The objects of this investigation were (i) to prepare and characterize a new anhydrous theophylline phase that is metastable under ambient conditions, ahd (ii) to prepare model tablet formulations containing either this metastable anhydrate (1*) or stable anhydrous theophylline (I), store them under different relative humidity (RH) conditions, and compare their dissolution behavior. I* was prepared by dehydration of theophylline monohydrate (II). Variable temperature X-ray powder diffractometry of II revealed the following series of transitions: II → I* → I. The metastable anhydrate, I*, which has not yet been reported in the literature, appears to be related monotropically to I. It was characterized by ambient and variable temperature X-ray powder diffractometry, Karl Fischer titrimetry, and thermoanalytical techniques (differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetric analysis). Tablet formulations containing either I* or I were prepared and stored at 33 and 52% RH (room temperature). The solid state of the drug was monitored by X-ray powder diffractometry and the tablets were subjected to the USP dissolution test. In tablets, I* completely converted to I in ≤ 10 days when stored at either 33 or 52% RH. Scanning electron microscopy provided direct visual evidence of recrystallization. This recrystallization was accompanied by a decrease in the dissolution rate of the stored formulations that was so pronounced in the formulations stored at 52% RH that they failed the USP dissolution test. The in situ solid-state transition appears to be responsible for the decrease in dissolution rate observed following storage. Stored tablets containing I showed neither a phase transition nor an alteration in their dissolution behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1256-1263
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1997

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