Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin
Online ISSN : 1347-5215
Print ISSN : 0918-6158
ISSN-L : 0918-6158
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Effect of Ethanol Pretreatment on Skin Permeation of Drugs
Daisuke HoritaHiroaki TodoKenji Sugibayashi
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2012 Volume 35 Issue 8 Pages 1343-1348


It has been demonstrated that ethanol (EtOH) can enhance skin permeation of drugs when simultaneously applied with drugs. However, only a few studies have reported on the pretreatment effect of EtOH on skin permeations. In this study, the pretreatment effects of EtOH on skin permeation of drugs were investigated by measuring changes in skin permeation and electrical skin resistance. Permeabilities of deuterium oxide (D2O), isosorbide mononitrate (ISMN), isosorbide dinitrate (ISDN), calcein sodium (CA-Na), and fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran 4 kDa (FD-4, 3.3–4.4 kDa) were evaluated through Yucatan micropig skin pretreated with different concentrations of EtOH solution. From the results, almost constant skin permeabilities of D2O and ISDN were observed independent of EtOH concentration. Skin permeabilities of ISMN, CA, and FD-4 increased with low concentrations of EtOH, but decreased with high concentrations of EtOH. At 99.5% EtOH pretreatment, skin permeabilities of hydrophilic compounds (ISMN, CA, and FD-4) decreased to non-detectable levels. In addition, low molecular ion transports were almost constant at any EtOH concentration. Since molecular (ion) sizes of ISMN, CA, and FD-4 are larger than Na+, Cl, and D2O, permeation pathway sizes for hydrophilic compounds in the skin barrier may be remarkably decreased by pretreatment with high concentrations of EtOH. However, the permeability coefficient of ISDN was not influenced by any EtOH concentration, since ISDN is a lipophilic, low-molecular compound that permeated through the lipophilic stratum corneum pathway. The present results show useful information for repeatedly and topically applied formulations containing EtOH, and also contribute to the effective use of alcohol formulations.

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© 2012 The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan
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