pH-Dependent Solubility and Dissolution Behavior of Carvedilol—Case Example of a Weakly Basic BCS Class II Drug
The objective of this study was to investigate the pH-dependent solubility and dissolution of weakly basic Biopharmaceutical Classification Systems (BCS) class II drugs, characterized by low solubility and high permeability, using carvedilol, a weak base with a pKa value of 7.8, as a model drug. A series of solubility and in vitro dissolution studies was carried out using media that simulate the gastric and intestinal fluids and cover the physiological pH range of the GI from 1.2 to 7.8. The effect of ionic strength, buffer capacity, and buffer species of the dissolution media on the solubility and dissolution behavior of carvedilol was also investigated. The study revealed that carvedilol exhibited a typical weak base pH-dependent solubility profile with a high solubility at low pH (545.1–2591.4 μg/mL within the pH range 1.2–5.0) and low solubility at high pH (5.8–51.9 μg/mL within the pH range 6.5–7.8). The dissolution behavior of carvedilol was consistent with the solubility results, where carvedilol release was complete (95.8–98.2% released within 60 min) in media simulating the gastric fluid (pH 1.2–5.0) and relatively low (15.9–86.2% released within 240 min) in media simulating the intestinal fluid (pH 6.5–7.8). It was found that the buffer species of the dissolution media may influence the solubility and consequently the percentage of carvedilol released by forming carvedilol salts of varying solubilities. Carvedilol solubility and dissolution decreased with increasing ionic strength, while lowering the buffer capacity resulted in a decrease in carvedilol solubility and dissolution rate.