We described to achieve the local retention of minoxidil which has penetrated the skin with minimization of its absorption into the general circulation and elimination of local irritation induced by propylene glycol. The effect of tocopheryl polyethylene glycol succinate (TPGS) on the penetration flux of minoxidil and its retention in the skin from topical minoxidil formulations consisting of water, alcohol, and polyethylene glycol 400 was characterized by an experimental design of ten solvent formulations in this study. Results show that the addition of TPGS was only able to improve the solubility of minoxidil in those solvent systems containing higher proportions of water and PEG 400, and the extent of improvement was also more profound with the addition of TPGS at concentrations higher than 5%. For those solvent systems containing a higher fraction of alcohol, an insignificant change in minoxidil solubility with increasing added amounts of TPGS was noted even with the tendency to decrease the solubility of minoxidil with higher amounts of TPGS. Increasing the amount of TPGS added gradually increased the flux and the corrected flux from solvent formulations with a lower solubility parameter, but decreased those from solvent systems with a higher solubility parameter. With the addition of TPGS, solvent formulation F6 (alcohol:PEG 400 of 50:50) was demonstrated to be the optimal choice by having an improved local effect and a reduced systemic effect compared to the reference of 2% Regaine®. Tocopheryl polyethylene glycol succinate (TPGS) was mainly retained locally in the stratum corneum, and the amount was proportional to the increase in the amount of TPGS added to these ten solvent formulations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas