Iontophoresis-coupled rapidly dissolving polymeric microneedle patch of naloxone for its enhanced transdermal delivery

Akeemat O Tijani, Daniel Connors, Carmine Schiavone, Maria J Peláez, Prashant Dogra, Ashana Puri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The transdermal delivery of naloxone for opioid overdose emergency purposes is a challenge due to its poor rate of diffusion through the layers of skin. This results in delayed delivery of an insufficient amount of the drug within minimal time as is desired to save lives. The ability of dissolving polymeric microneedles to shorten the lag time significantly has been explored and shown to have prospects in terms of the transdermal delivery of naloxone. This is an option that offers critical advantages to the ongoing opioid crisis, including ease of distribution and easy administration, with little to no need for intervention by clinicians. Nonetheless, this approach by itself needs augmentation to meet pharmacokinetic delivery attributes desired for a viable clinical alternative to existing market dosage forms. In this study, we report the success of an optimized iontophoresis-coupled naloxone loaded dissolving microneedle patch which had facilitated a 12- fold increase in average cumulative permeation and a 6-fold increase in drug flux over a conventional dissolving microneedle patch within 60 min of application (p < 0.05). This translates to a 30 % decrease in dose requirement in a mechanistically predicted microneedle patch established to be able to achieve the desired early plasma concentration time profile needed in an opioid overdose emergency. Applying a predictive mathematical model, we describe an iontophoresis-coupled microneedle patch design capable of meeting the desired pharmacokinetic profile for a viable naloxone delivery form through skin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124289
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
StateE-pub ahead of print - May 31 2024


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