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Effect of Azone upon the in vivo antiviral efficacy of cidofovir or acyclovir topical formulations in treatment/prevention of cutaneous HSV-1 infections and its correlation with skin target site free drug concentration in hairless mice.

Author(s): Afouna MI, Fincher TK, Zaghloul AA, Reddy IK

Affiliation(s): Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 W Markham, St No 522-3, Little Rock, AR 72205, USA. afounamohsen@uams.edu

Publication date & source: 2003-03-06, Int J Pharm., 253(1-2):159-68.

The purpose of this study is to examine the influence of Azone upon the skin target site free drug concentration (C(*)) and its correlation with the in vivo antiviral efficacies of cidofovir (HPMPC) and acyclovir (ACV) against HSV-1 infections. Formulations of HPMPC and ACV with or without Azone were used. The in vitro skin flux experiments were performed and the C(*) values were calculated. For the in vivo efficacy studies, hairless mice cutaneously infected with HSV-1 were used and three different treatment protocols were carried out. The protocols were chosen based upon when therapy is initiated and terminated in such a way to assess the efficacy of the test drug to cure and/or prevent HSV-1 infections. A finite dose of the formulation was topically applied twice a day for the predetermined time course for each protocol and the lesions were scored on the fifth day. For ACV formulation with Azone, the C(*) values and hence the in vivo efficacy were much higher than those for that without Azone. In protocol #1, however, early treatment did not increase the in vivo efficacy of ACV when compared with the standard treatment protocol #3. In protocol #2 where the treatment was terminated on the day of virus inoculation, the efficacies for both ACV formulations were completely absent. Although the estimated C(*) values for HPMPC formulations with and without Azone were comparable, formulation with Azone was much more effective than that without Azone in all treatment protocols. HPMPC formulations with Azone at similar flux values were much more effective in "treating and preventing" HSV-1 infections than those without Azone. For ACV formulations, in contrast, addition of Azone has failed to show any effect on the preventive in vivo antiviral efficacy and the enhancement of ACV in vivo antiviral efficacy was merely the skin permeation enhancement effect of Azone.

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