Fast relief from migraine attacks using fast-disintegrating sublingual zolmitriptan tablets.

Mahmoud, A. A., and S. Salah, "Fast relief from migraine attacks using fast-disintegrating sublingual zolmitriptan tablets.", Drug development and industrial pharmacy, vol. 38, issue 6, pp. 762-9, 2012 Jun.


Zolmitriptan is a potent molecule for treatment of migraine. Its current oral therapies present drawbacks such as slow onset of action, low bioavailability and large inter-subject variability. Fast disintegrating sublingual zolmitriptan tablet (FDST) using freeze-drying technique has been developed to enhance tablet disintegration and dissolution with the intention of speeding drug absorption and onset of effect, hence mitigating the effects on the gastrointestinal dysmotility that typically accompanies the migraine attack. The FDSTs were prepared using different concentrations of gelatin as binder and mannitol or L-alanine as matrix supporting/disintegration enhancing agents. The effect of formulation variables on the physicochemical and solid-state properties, as well as the dissolution behaviour of the tablets, was studied. The formulated FDSTs disintegrated within 30 s and showed significantly faster dissolution rate of zolmitriptan compared to the zolmitriptan oral tablet. Tablet containing 2% gelatin and mannitol showed acceptable weight variation, drug content and friability values. Furthermore, it had a low in-vitro and in-vivo disintegration time (11 s) and it reached 100% of drug release within 30 s. This sublingual formulation gave faster and higher zolmitriptan plasma concentration in rabbits compared to the oral zolmetriptan market product. Zolmitriptan FDST may therefore constitute an advance in the management of acute migraine attacks.