In Vitro and In Vivo Evaluation of Dark Chocolate as Age-appropriate Oral Matrix

Al-Kabariti, Aya Y, Arafat, Basel T, Oriquat, Ghaleb Ali, Možná, Petra, Jaidy, Hadeal, Rehmani, Asma, Patel, Kausar, Al-Qinna, Nidal and Alhnan, Mohamed A (2024) In Vitro and In Vivo Evaluation of Dark Chocolate as Age-appropriate Oral Matrix. European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 192 . ISSN 0928-0987

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Swallowing difficulties encountered by geriatric patients who undergo polypharmacy represent a significant challenge that hampers patient compliance and therapeutic management. As an appealing and sensory-pleasing, chocolate-based formulations have emerged as a potential alternative oral dosage form suitable for both the elderly and paediatric populations. However, the extent to which the incorporation of drugs into a chocolate matrix affects their oral availability remains unclear. Therefore, the objective of this investigation was to explore the in vitro and in vivo performance of an ibuprofen-based chocolate dosage form. A matrix based on dark chocolate and the model drug was prepared at two distinct temperatures: 50 and 80 °C. In vitro release studies revealed that ibuprofen formulated through co-melting at 80 °C exhibited a statistically significant slower drug release (p < 0.05) compared to formulations prepared at 50 °C in both FaSSGF (fasted-state simulated gastric fluid) and lipolysis media. The enzymatic degradation of chocolate in the presence of lipase accelerated in vitro ibuprofen release from chocolate matrices. To delve deeper into the bioavailability of ibuprofen within the chocolate formulations, we conducted an in vivo assessment, comparing the pharmacokinetic profiles of ibuprofen in its conventional suspension form with our chocolate-based dosage forms. A notable drop (p < 0.05) in the maximum serum concentration of ibuprofen when incorporated into co-melted or solid-suspension chocolate matrices. However, no significant differences in plasma exposure were observed between the two formulations. These findings shed a light on the potential of chocolate to extend of ibuprofen when integrated into various chocolate matrices, showcasing the potential held by these innovative formulations. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2023. Published by Elsevier B.V.]

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