Ahmed OAA, Fahmy UA, Badr-Eldin SM, Aldawsari HM, Awan ZA, Asfour HZ, Kammoun AK, Caruso G, Caraci F, Alfarsi A, Al-Ghamdi RA, Al-Ghamdi RA, Alhakamy NA (2020) Nanomaterials (Basel) 10:E1270.

Pubmed: pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32610539 doi: 10.3390/nano10071270


Flibanserin (FLB) is a nonhormonal medicine approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat the hypoactive sexual appetite disorder in females. However, the peroral administration of the medicine is greatly affected by its poor bioavailability as a result of its extensive first-pass effect and poor solubility. Aiming at circumventing these drawbacks, this work involves the formulation of optimized FLB transfersome (TRF) loaded intranasal hydrogel. Box-Behnken design was utilized for the improvement of FLB TRFs with decreased size. The FLB-to-phospholipid molar ratio, the edge activator hydrophilic lipophilic balance, and the pH of the hydration medium all exhibited significant effects on the TRF size. The optimized/developed TRFs were unilamellar in shape. Hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose based hydrogel filled with the optimized FLB TRFs exhibited an improved ex vivo permeation when compared with the control FLB-loaded hydrogel. In addition, the optimized TRF-loaded hydrogel exhibited higher bioavailability and enhanced brain delivery relative to the control hydrogel following intranasal administration in Wistar rats. The results foreshadow the possible potential application of the proposed intranasal optimized FLB-TRF-loaded hydrogel to increase the bioavailability and nose-to-brain delivery of the drug.