Improvement in bioavailability of transdermally applied flurbiprofen using tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) and turpentine oil. Academic Article uri icon


  • Penetration enhancing potential of tulsi and turpentine oil on transdermal delivery of flurbiprofen, a potent non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent, was investigated. The transdermal permeation rate of flurbiprofen across the rat abdominal skin from binary solvent mixture composition of propylene glycol (PG):isopropyl alcohol (IPA) (30:70%, v/v) was 98.88 microg/cm(2)/h, significantly higher than other binary solvent mixtures. The corresponding steady state plasma concentration, 0.71 microg/ml, was much lower than required steady state plasma concentration of 3-5 microg/ml. Hence influence of tulsi and turpentine oil in the optimized binary solvent mixture along with the increased drug load on the flurbiprofen permeation was evaluated. The magnitude of the flux enhancement factor with turpentine oil and tulsi oil was 2.4 and 2.0 respectively at 5% (v/v) concentration beyond which there was no significant increase in the flux. Addition of 2% (w/v) hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), as a thickening agent, resulted in desired consistency for the fabrication of patch with insignificant effect on permeation rate of flurbiprofen. The reservoir type of transdermal patch formulation, fabricated by encapsulating the flurbiprofen reservoir solution within a shallow compartment moulded from polyester backing film and microporous ethyl vinyl acetate membrane, did not modulate the skin permeation of flurbiprofen through rat skin in case of turpentine formulations whereas flux of formulations with tulsi oil was significantly altered. The influence of penetration enhancer and solvents on the anatomical structure of the rat skin was studied. Enhancement properties exhibited by turpentine oil and tulsi oil in optimized binary solvent mixture were superior as compared to solvent treated and normal control groups with negligible skin irritation. The fabricated transdermal patches were found to be stable. The bioavailability of flurbiprofen with reference to orally administered flurbiprofen in albino rats was found to increase by 2.97, 3.80 and 5.56 times with transdermal patch formulation without enhancer, tulsi and turpentine oil formulations, respectively. The results were confirmed by pharmacodynamic studies in rat edema inflammation model.

published proceedings

  • Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces

author list (cited authors)

  • Charoo, N. A., Shamsher, A., Kohli, K., Pillai, K., & Rahman, Z.

citation count

  • 34

complete list of authors

  • Charoo, Naseem Ahmad||Shamsher, Areeg Anwer Ali||Kohli, Kanchan||Pillai, Krishna||Rahman, Ziyaur

publication date

  • September 2008