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EMULGELS: A SURROGATE APPROACH FOR TOPICALLY USED HYDROPHOBIC DRUGS

Keywords: Emulgels , Hydrophobic Drugs , Topical drug delivery

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Abstract:

A unique aspect of dermatological pharmacology is the direct accessibility of the skin as a target organ for diagnosis and treatment. The combination of hydrophilic cornified cells in hydrophobic intercellular material provides a barrier to both hydrophilic and hydrophobic substances. Within the major group of semisolid preparations, the use of transparent gels has expanded both in cosmetics and in pharmaceutical preparations. In spite of many advantages of gels a major limitation is in the delivery of hydrophobic drugs. So to overcome this limitation an emulsion based approach is being used so that even a hydrophobic therapeutic moiety can enjoy the unique properties of gels. When gels and emulsions are used in combined form the dosage forms are referred as emulgels. In recent years, there has been great interest in the use of novel polymers which can function as emulsifiers and thickeners because the gelling capacity of these compounds allows the formulation of stable emulsions and creams by decreasing surface and interfacial tension and at the same time increasing the viscosity of the aqueous phase. In fact, the presence of a gelling agent in the water phase converts a classical emulsion into an emulgel. Emulgels for dermatological use have several favorable properties such as being thixotropic, greaseless, easily spreadable, easily removable, emollient, nonstaining, water-soluble, longer shelf life, bio-friendly, transparent & pleasing appearance. These emulgel are having major advantages on novel vesicular systems as well as on conventional systems in various aspects. Various permeation enhancers can potentiate the effect. So emulgels can be used as better topical drug delivery systems over present systems. The use of emulgels can be extended in analgesics and antifungal drugs.

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