Microemulsion-based hydrogel formulation for transdermal delivery of dexamethasone

Main Article Content

Amrish Chandra
Pramod Kumar Sharma
Raghuveer Irchhiaya


The purpose of this study was to construct a microemulsion-based hydrogel formulation for the transdermal deliveryof dexamethasone. Almond oil, olive oil, linseed oil, and nutmeg oil were screened as the oil phase. A microemulsionbased system was chosen due to its good solubilizing capacity and skin permeation capabilities. The pseudoternary phase diagrams for microemulsion regions were constructed using various oils, egg lecithin as the surfactant, isopropyl alcohol (IPA) as the cosurfactant, and distilled water as the aqueous phase. Microemulsion gel formulations were prepared using Carbopol and filled into a reservoir-type transdermal system. The ability of various microemulsion formulations to deliver dexamethasone through the rat skin was evaluated in vitro using Keshary Chien diffusion cells. In order to enhance permeation, the skin was treated with an abrading gel (apricot seed powder in hydrogel base). The in vitro permeation data showed that microemulsions increased the permeation rate of dexamethasone compared with the control. The optimum formulation consisting of 0.1% dexamethasone, 10% olive oil, 70% egg lecithin:IPA (2:1), and water showed a permeation rate of 54.9 μ g/cm2/h. The studied microemulsion-based hydrogel was stable toward centrifugation test and was nonirritating
to the skin. The pharmacodynamic studies indicated that microemulsion based on nutmeg oil demonstrated a significantly
(P < 0.05) higher anti-inflammatory potential. The nutmeg oil-based transdermal microemulsion gel system demonstrated
73.6% inhibition in rat paw edema. Thus, microemulsion-based transdermal systems are a promising formulation for dermal
delivery of dexamethasone.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Chandra, A., Sharma, P. K., & Irchhiaya, R. (2014). Microemulsion-based hydrogel formulation for transdermal delivery of dexamethasone. Asian Journal of Pharmaceutics (AJP), 3(1). https://doi.org/10.22377/ajp.v3i1.238


Tenjarla S. Microemulsions: An overview and pharmaceutical

applications. Crit Rev Ther Drug Carrier Syst 1999;16:461-521.

Lawrence MJ, Rees GD. Microemulsion-based media as novel drug

delivery systems. Adv Drug Deliv Rev 2000;45:89-121.

Peltola S, Saarinen-Savolainen P, Kiesvaara J, Suhonen TM, Urtti A.

Microemulsions for dermal delivery of estradiol. Int J Pharm


Sintov AC, Shapiro L. New microemulsion vehicle facilitates

percutaneous penetration in vitro and cutaneous drug bioavailability

in vivo. J Control Rel 2004;95:173-83.

Lapasin R, Grassi M, Coceani N. Effects of polymer addition on the

rheology of o/w microemulsions. Rheol Acta 2001;40:185-92.

Spiclin P, Homar M, Zupancic-Valant A. Sodium ascorbyl phosphate in

dermal microemulsions. Int J Pharm 2003;256:65-73.

Valenta C, Schultz K. Influence of carrageenan on the rheology

and skin permeation of microemulsion formulations. J Control Rel


Gulsen D. Chauhan A. Dispersion of microemulsion drops in HEMA

hydrogel: a potential ophthalmic drug delivery vehicle. Int J Pharm


Reynolds JE, editor. Martindale: The Extra Pharmacopoeia. London:

Royal Pharmaceutical Society; 1996. p. 1042-5.

Kobayashi I, Hosaka K, Maruo H, Saeki Y, Kamiyama M, Konno C,

et al. Role of prostaglandin E2 and leukotriene B4 in skin reaction

induced by transdermal application of propanolol. Biol Pharm Bull


Slayden SM, Crabbe L, Bae S, Potter HD, Azziz R, Parker CR Jr. Effect

of 17β-estradiol on adrenocortical sensitivity responsiveness and

steroidogenesis in postmenopausal women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab


Fischer DK, Simpson RK Jr, Smith FA Jr, Mattox KL. Efficacy of

dexamethasone in benzodiapine resistant delirium tremens. Lancet


Heath D, Williams DR. High Altitude Medicine and Pathology. Oxford:

Oxford University Press; 1995. p. 3-29.

Mantovani G, Curreli L, Maccio A, Massa E, Massa D, Mulas C, et al.

Prevention of nausea and vomiting (N and V) in cancer patients receiving

high-dose cisplatin Assessment of the potential antiemetic activity of

trandermal fentanyl (TTS-F) compared to standard antiemetic treatment

in acute and delayed N and V: First clinical report. Anticancer Res


Nagashima M, Wauke K, Hirano D, Ishigami S, Aono H, Takai M, et al.

Effects of combinations of anti-rheumatic drugs on the production of

vascular endothelial growth factor and basic fibroblast growth factor

in cultured synoviocytes and patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatology (Oxford) 2000;39:1255-62.

Tsuei SE, Moore RG, Ashley JJ, McBride WG. Disposition of synthetic

glucocorticoids I Pharmacokinetics of dexamethasone in healthy adults.

J Pharmacokin Biopharm 1979;7:249-64.

Cevc G, Blume G. Hydrocortisone and dexamethasone in very deformable

drug carriers have increased biological potency, prolonged effect, and

reduced therapeutic dosage. Biochim Biophys Acta 2004;1663:61-73.

Jain S, Jain P, Umamaheshwari RB, Jain NK. Transfersomes - a novel

vesicular carrier for enhanced transdermal delivery: Development,

characterization, and performance evaluation. Drug Dev Ind Pharm


Mukherjee B, Mahapatra S, Gupta R, Patra B, Tiwari A, Arora P.

A comparison between povidone-ethylcellulose and povidone-eudragit

transdermal dexamethasone matrix patches based on in vitro skin

permeation. Eur J Pharm Biopharm 2005;59:475-83.

Gonyer D, Heck M. Transdermal delivery of dexamethasone and

promethazine. US patent no. 2008/0241231.

Thioune O, Ahodikpe D, Dieng M, Diop AB, Ngom S, Lo I. Inflammatory

ointment from shea butter and hydro-alcoholic extract of Khaya

senegalensis barks (Cailcederat). Dakar Med 2000;45:113-6.

Fialho SL, da Silva-Cunha A. New vehicle based on a microemulsion for

topical ocular administration of dexamethasone. Clin Exp Ophthalmol


Banta CA. A prospective randomized study of iontophoresis wrist

splinting and anti-inflammatory medication in the treatment of

earlymild carpal tunnel syndrome. J Occup Med 1994;36:166-8.

Cabello Benavente R, Moncada Iribarren I, de Palacio España A,

Hernández Villaverde A, Monzó JI, Hernández Fernández C. Transdermal

iontophoresis with dexamethasone and verapamil for Peyronie’s

disease. Actas Urol Esp 2005;29:955-60.

Di Stasi SM, Giannantoni A, Capelli G, Jannini EA, Virgili G, Storti L,

et al. Transdermal electromotive administration of verapamil and

dexamethasone for Peyronie’s disease. BJU Int 2003;91:825-9.

Byl NN, McKenzie A, Halliday B, Wong T, O’Connell J. The effects of

phonophoresis with corticosteroids: A controlled pilot study. J Orthop

Sports Phys Ther 1993;18:599-600.

Johnson ME, Mitragotri S, Patel A, Blankschtein D, Langer R. Synergistic

effects of chemical enhancers and therapeutic ultrasound on

transdermal drug delivery. J Pharm Sci 1996;85:670-9.

Drazie J. Appraisal of the safety and chemical in foods drugs and

cosmetics by the Staff of the Division of Pharmacology Food and Drug

Administration Department of Health Education and Welfare, Topeka,

KS: FDA Officials of US Business Office; 1959. p. 46.

Alol A, Kuriyana K, Shimiza T, Yoshioka M. Effects of vitamin E and

squalene on skin irritation of a transdermal absorption enhancer lauryl

sacrosine. Int J Pharm 1993;93:1-6.

Vandamme TF. Microemulsions as ocular drug delivery systems:

Recent developments and future challenges. Prog Retinal Eye Res


Chen H, Chang X, Weng T, Zhao X, Gao Z, Yang Y, et al. A study of

microemulsion systems for transdermal delivery of triptolide. J Control

Release 2004;98:427-36.