International journal of pharmaceutics 2018 03 26543(1-2) 121-129 pii 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2018.03.043
Nevirapine (NVP) is recommended by WHO as the antiretroviral treatment to prevent HIV passing from mother to child. However, the once-daily oral administration results in poor patient compliance, and a long-acting injectable form of NVP is desirable. Using single-crystal X-ray diffraction and other characterization methods, we demonstrated NVP can form crystalline inclusion complex (IC) with the biodegradable hydrophobic poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL), and investigated the potential of the NVP-PCL IC microparticles as a long-acting injectable solid form. Compared with pure NVP crystals and NVP/polylactide microparticles, the NVP-PCL IC crystals showed significantly decreased solubility and slower dissolution rate, making it more suitable to be developed to achieve sustained-release profiles. In addition, the NVP-PCL IC microparticles with an average diameter below 10 μm can be conveniently prepared by spray drying and are found to be easily injectable through a 25G needle. These results demonstrated the possibility of using drug-polymer IC microparticles as long-acting injectable forms, providing a new approach to design sustained-release drug products.