Effects of plantain and corn starches on the mechanical and disintegration properties of paracetamol tablets

Olufunke D Akin-Ajani, Oludele A Itiola, Oluwatoyin A Odeku
AAPS PharmSciTech 2005, 6 (3): E458-63
The effects of plantain starch obtained from the unripe fruit of the plant Musa paradisiaca L. (Musaceae) on the mechanical and disintegration properties of paracetamol tablets have been investigated in comparison with the effects of corn starch BP using a 2(3) factorial experimental design. The individual and combined effects of nature of starch binder (N), concentration of starch binder (C), and the relative density of tablet (RD) on the tensile strength (TS), brittle fracture index (BFI), and disintegration time (DT) of the tablets were investigated. The ranking of the individual effects on TS was RD > C > N, on BFI was C > RD > N and on DT was N > C > RD. The ranking for the interaction effects on TS and DT was N-C > N-RD > C-RD, while that on BFI was N-C > C-RD > N-RD. Changing nature of starch from a "low" (plantain starch) to a "high" (corn starch) level, increasing the concentration of starch binding agent from 2.5% to 10.0% wt/wt, and increasing relative density of the tablet from 0.80 to 0.90, led to increase in the values of TS and DT, but a decrease in BFI. Thus, tablets containing plantain starch had lower tensile strength and disintegration time values than those containing corn starch, but showed better ability to reduce the lamination and capping tendency in paracetamol tablet formulation. The interaction between N and C was significantly (P < .001) higher than those between N and RD and between C and RD. There is therefore the need to carefully choose the nature (N) and concentration (C) of starch used as binding agent in tablet formulations to obtain tablets of desired bond strength and disintegration properties. Furthermore, plantain starch could be useful as an alternative binding agent to cornstarch, especially where faster disintegration is required and the problems of lamination and capping are of particular concern.

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