Among various strategies of gastroretentive drug delivery systems (DDSs) developed to prolong the gastric residence time and to increase the overall bioavailability, effervescent multiple-unit floating DDSs (muFDDSs) were studied here. These systems consist of drug (losartan)- and effervescent (sodium bicarbonate)-containing pellets coated with a blended polymeric membrane, which was a mixture of gastrointestinal tract (GIT)-soluble and GIT-insoluble polymers. The addition of GIT-soluble polymers, such as hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, polyethylene glycol (PEG) 6000, PEG 600, and Kollicoat® IR, greatly increased the water uptake ability of the GIT-insoluble polymers (Eudragit® NE, RS, and RL; Surelease®; and Kollicoat® SR) and caused them to immediately initiate the effervescent reaction and float, but the hydrated films should also be impermeable to the generated CO2 to maintain floatation and sufficiently flexible to withstand the pressure of carbon dioxide to avoid rupturing. The study demonstrated that the water uptake ability and mechanical properties could be applied as screening tools during the development of effervescent muFDDSs. The optimized system of SRT(5)P600(5) (i.e., a mixture of 5% Kollicoat® SR and 5% PEG 600) with a 20% coating level began to completely float within 15 min and maintained its buoyancy over a period of 12 h with a sustained-release effect.
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