Aceclofenac, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, has been used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. In order to decrease the gastric ulcerogenic effects, aceclofenac gels have been developed. This study was conducted to develop a gel formulation of aceclofenac using four types of gelling agents: carbopol, hydroxypropylmethylcellulose(HPMC), carboxymethylcellulose sodium (Na CMC) and sodium alginate. Effect of penetration enhancer (propylene glycol) on the release has been studied. The gels were evaluated for physical appearance, rheological behavior, drug release and stability. The drug release from all gelling agents through a standard cellophane membrane was evaluated using Keshary-Chien diffusion cell. All gels showed acceptable physical properties concerning color, homogeneity, consistency, spreadability and pH value. Among all the gel formulations, carbopol showed superior drug release than followed by Na CMC, HPMC and sodium alginate. Drug release decreased with increase in polymer concentration. Drug release was not linearly proportional with the concentration of penetration enhancer or co-solvents. Stability studies showed that the physical appearance, rheological properties, and drug release remained unchanged upon storage for two months at ambient conditions.
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