Ethanol Effects on Apparent Solubility of Poorly Soluble Drugs in Simulated Intestinal Fluid
Ethanol intake can lead to an unexpected and possibly problematic increase in the bioavailability of druglike compounds. In this work we investigated the effect of ethanol on the apparent solubility and dissolution rate of poorly soluble compounds in simulated intestinal fluid representing a preprandial state. A series of 22 structurally diverse, poorly soluble compounds were measured for apparent solubility and intrinsic dissolution rate (37 °C) in phosphate buffer pH 6.5 (PhB6.5) and fasted state simulated intestinal fluid (FaSSIF, pH 6.5) with and without ethanol at 5% v/v or 20% v/v. The obtained data were used to understand for which molecules ethanol results in an increased apparent solubility and, therefore, may increase the amount of drug absorbed. In FaSSIF20%ethanol 59% of the compounds displayed >3-fold higher apparent solubility than in pure FaSSIF, whereas the effects of 5% ethanol on solubility, in most cases, were negligible. Acidic and neutral compounds were more solubilized by the addition of ethanol than by lecithin/taurocholate aggregates, whereas bases showed a more substance-specific response to the additives in the buffer. The stronger solubilizing capacity of ethanol as compared to the mixed lipid aggregates in FaSSIF was further identified through Spearman rank analyses, which showed a stronger relationship between FaSSIF20%ethanol and PhB6.5,20%ethanol (rS of 0.97) than FaSSIF20%ethanol and FaSSIF (rS of 0.86). No relationships were found between solubility changes in media containing ethanol and single physicochemical properties, but multivariate data analysis showed that inclusion of ethanol significantly reduced the negative effect of compound lipophilicity on solubility. For this data set the higher concentration of ethanol gave a dose number (Do) <1 for 30% of the compounds that showed incomplete dissolution in FaSSIF. Significant differences were shown in the melting point, lipophilicity, and dose profiles between the compounds having a Do < 1 and Do > 1, with the latter having higher absolute values in all three parameters. In conclusion, this study showed that significant effects of ethanol on apparent solubility in the preprandial state can be expected for lipophilic compounds. The results herein indicate that acidic and neutral compounds are more sensitive to the addition of ethanol than to the mixed lipid aggregates present in the fasted intestine.