Acta Pharm. 65 (2015) 383-397


full paper

Original research paper


Influence of pH modifiers on the dissolution and stability of hydrochlorothiazide in the bi- and three-layer tablets


1 Krka, d.d., Novo mesto, Slovenia, Šmarješka cesta 6, 8501 Novo mesto, Slovenia

2 University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Pharmacy, Aškerčeva cesta 7, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Accepted July 7, 2015


During the past few years, the studies of bi- and multi-layered tablets increased due to the consumption of several different drugs per day by a patient and requests for appropriate patient compliance. The demographic shift toward older population increases the use of combination therapy as polypharmacy. Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), as a model drug, is most commonly used in the treatment of hypertension, congestive heart failure and as a diuretic. The aim of the present study is to investigate the effect of the local environment on dissolution and stability behaviour of HCTZ in fixed multi-layered tablet combinations, which are commonly used in polypharmacy. For this purpose, three different systems were introduced: (i) two conventional tablets (HCTZ and pH modifying placebo), (ii) 2-layer tablets (HCTZ, pH modifying placebo) and (iii) 3-layer tablets (HCTZ, barrier and pH modifying placebo). Disintegration of tablets, dissolution of HCTZ from tablets and HCTZ related substances were monitored for all systems. Results showed that there was a significant difference between dissolution profiles of the conventional two-tablet system (HCTZ tablet and pH modifying tablet) and the 2-layer and 3-layer tablets, which include the pH modifying layer. In the case of the conventional two-tablet system, 85 % of HCTZ was dissolved in less than 15 minutes. The dissolution profiles of HCTZ from 2-layered and 3-layered tablets showed a decrease in the dissolution rate. In addition, during the stability studies, it has been confirmed that the typical degradation product of HCTZ is formed, impurity B (4-amino-6-chloro-1,3-benzenedisulfonamide), which implies formation of formaldehyde as hydrolytic impurity not reported in the Ph. Eur. (16). Both impurities are particularly raised in 2-layered tablets with alkaline and neutral placebo layers. Stability of HCTZ was improved in the case of the 3-layer tablet, where the intermediate separation layer of glycerol monostearate was present. It is presumed that the HCTZ dissolution rate was decreased due to formation of non-soluble substances as a result of HCTZ degradation in the presence of alkaline layer.


Keywords: hydrochlorothiazide, bi-, three-layer tablets, disintegration time, dissolution rate, stability