Many transdermal systems are affected by temperature and are labeled with a warning against heat application. For example, heat can increase skin permeability. Heat can affect drug solubility in a formulation and drug (and excipient) release from the transdermal system. Heat can also increase dermal clearance and systemic drug absorption via the vascular network. Heat effects can be different among different transdermal delivery systems. In the FDA review process, when the reference product has a label warning against heat application, the generic product cannot be more sensitive to heat than the reference product. Different heat effects among transdermal products can be due to different drug release (and formulation release) from the products. In addition, due to the different formulation release under heat, these formulations can exert different effects on skin permeability. The different formulation release and penetration into the dermis can also affect dermal clearance for systemic drug absorption. The objectives of this project are to (a) investigate the in vitro release test conditions for identifying heat effects on transdermal delivery and (b) develop an in vitro test process to be used in the reviews of transdermal products to ensure that generic products do not introduce any additional safety risks. We will evaluate the influence of heat upon the rate of drug release from the patch using in vitro release testing of USP dissolution apparatus (tier 1), drug and formulation permeation across skin using Franz diffusion cells (tier 2), and dermal clearance analyses using an existing, state-of-the-art, skin diffusion model to determine dermis concentration and drug absorption into the vascular network in the dermis (tier 3). It is hypothesize that this tiered in vitro testing strategy will yield a scientifically-based decision tree to support the evaluation of thermal effects for ANDA approvals of transdermal products.

Public Health Relevance

The performance of a transdermal drug delivery system can be affected by temperature and this poses a safety risk. In FDA reviews, heat effect on a generic transdermal product must not be more pronounced than that of the reference (brand name) product. Evidence such as human clinical data to show that the generic product is not less safe than the reference product under the application of heat is required. The present project will develop an in vitro test method for evaluating heat effect on transdermal generic products.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Research Project--Cooperative Agreements (U01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZFD1-SRC (99))
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University of Cincinnati
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Zhang, Qian; Murawsky, Michael; LaCount, Terri et al. (2018) Transepidermal water loss and skin conductance as barrier integrity tests. Toxicol In Vitro 51:129-135
Zhang, Qian; Murawsky, Michael; LaCount, Terri et al. (2017) Characterization of Temperature Profiles in Skin and Transdermal Delivery System When Exposed to Temperature Gradients In Vivo and In Vitro. Pharm Res 34:1491-1504
Hao, Jinsong; Ghosh, Priyanka; Li, S Kevin et al. (2016) Heat effects on drug delivery across human skin. Expert Opin Drug Deliv 13:755-68