Dynamic dissolution-/permeation-testing of nano- and microparticle formulations of fenofibrate.
Dietary measures, including calorie restriction and reduced fat intake, remain the mainstay of management in prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD). When this fails, drug therapy should be considered. Fibrates, a family of lipid lowering drugs, decrease plasma triglycerides and inhibit their synthesis. They are also reported to suppress cholesterol production in the liver. A disadvantage of fenofibrate is the poor solubility of the principal ingredient, with subsequent incomplete absorption after oral administration. Micronized fenofibrate, a new formulation chemically identical to the parent compound, has improved pharmacokinetic parameters which increase absorption, provide more stable plasma levels, and thus dosage can be decreased. The micronized formulation has been shown to be effective in reducing LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in patients with types IIa and IV hyperlipidemia, with increasing responsiveness to therapy in proportion to elevated baseline values of these parameters. This formulation has also been compared to simvastatin, an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor. Results of a double-blind crossover study showed that both drugs reduced plasma cholesterol levels by similar amounts, and both produced similar increases in HDL cholesterol. The micronized formulation of fenofibrate thus provides improved efficacy in the prevention of CHD. In comparison to the standard formulation, micronised fenofibrate thus provides improved efficacy in the control of dyslipidemia and the prevention of CHD.