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Alginate ester: New moisture-scavenging excipients for direct compressible pharmaceutical tableting

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This study aims to assess methyl ester alginates and alginic acid (AA) as moisture-scavenging excipients for formulating aspirin tablets through direct compression. The tablets underwent storage under accelerated conditions (40 °C/75 % RH), and evaluations were conducted for changes in tensile strength, mass, thickness, and disintegration time. While moisture led to decreased hardness in microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) and AA tablets, the tablets composed of methylated materials showed virtually no impact on hardness. The physical stability of alginate ester tablets was found to be associated with increased plastic deformation, resulting in extended interparticle contact with minimal effects on tablet porosity. Ultimately, the combination of higher moisture affinity and lower water dissociation exhibited by alginate esters led to tablets with the least aspirin degradation. These findings indicate that excipients with strong water retention can function as effective moisture-scavengers without compromising their functional properties, thereby reducing the degradation of moisture-sensitive drugs.
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