Oral thrush commonly occurs in bottle-fed babies but is also a problem for older children and adults. Antifungal compounds can treat the disorder but, especially among children, a pleasant delivery form is desirable.
“Attractive, taste masking formulations are the need of the hour. In the present study ketoconazole sweetened lollipops were designed for the effective treatment of oral thrush in children”, researchers wrote in International Journal of Life Sciences Biotechnology and Pharma Research .
A local confectionary firm manufactured 3g lollipops that each contained 15mg of the API (active pharmaceutical ingredient). Researchers ran a series of tests on the lollipops to assess stability, release and other characteristics.
“Stability studies at ambient temperatures show that the formulations were found to have uniform drug content up to 3 months”, the researchers wrote. The stability data suggests dosages kept in air tight containers or strips could be viable delivery vehicles.
Oral retention times were also tested. By adding hydrophyllic polymers to the lollipop formulation the researchers achieved retention times of 30 minutes in simulated saliva, double the duration of dosages lacking hydrocolloids.
Finally, an assessment of skin irritation was performed by testing the lollipops on 16 children. “The prepared formulations were found to be compatible when subjected for clinical studies in healthy human volunteers”, the researchers wrote. Skin was looked at up to three days after application.
Additional potential benefits of the lollipop dosage forms are increased bioavailability and reduced gastric irritation. “These finding could be of potential use in designing such formulations for paediatric patients”, the researchers wrote.