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Claims for Patent: 5,122,383

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Claims for Patent: 5,122,383

Title: Sorbitan esters as skin permeation enhancers
Abstract:Skin permeation enhancer compositions are provided which increase the permeability of skin to transdermally administered pharmacologically active agents. The compositions contain a sorbitan ester in addition to the selected pharmacologically active agent, and may also contain a C.sub.1 -C.sub.4 aliphatic alcohol. Methods and transdermal drug delivery systems for using the compositions are also provided.
Inventor(s): Heiber; Sonia (Salt Lake City, UT), Patel; Dinesh (Murray, UT), Ebert; Charles D. (Salt Lake City, UT)
Assignee: Theratech, Inc. (Salt Lake City, UT)
Application Number:07/702,043
Patent Claims: 1. A method for enhancing the rate of penetration of a steroid drug through the skin, comprising applying to a selected area of intact skin: (a) a therapeutically effective amount of the steroid drug; and (b) a permeation enhancer consisting essentially of a sorbitan ester having the structural formula ##STR2## wherein R.sub.1 has the formula --O(CO)R', R' selected from the group consisting of saturated, mono-unsaturated, di-unsaturated, and tri-unsaturated aliphatic hydrocarbon substituents of 7 to 21 carbon atoms optionally containing 1 to 3 hydroxyl groups, and R.sub.2 and R.sub.3 are independently selected from the group consisting of hydroxyl and --O(CO)R'.

2. The method of claim 1 wherein R' is selected from the group consisting of saturated, mono-unsaturated, di-unsaturated, or tri-unsaturated aliphatic hydrocarbon substituents of 11-21 carbon atoms optionally containing 1-3 hydroxyl groups, and R.sub.2 and R.sub.3 are both hydroxyl.

3. The method of claim 2 wherein the sorbitan ester is selected from the group consisting of sorbitan monooleate, sorbitan monolaurate, and mixtures thereof.

4. The method of claim 1 wherein the steroid drug is selected from the group consisting of estradiol, progesterone, norethindrone acetate, and mixtures thereof.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein the pharmacologically active agent and the enhancer are present in a single pharmaceutical composition, and wherein the composition further includes a pharmaceutically acceptable inert vehicle.

6. A method for enhancing the rate of penetration of a steroid drug through the skin, comprising applying to a selected area of intact skin: (a) a therapeutically effective amount of the steroid drug; and (b) a permeation enhancer consisting essentially of a sorbitan ester having the structural formula ##STR3## wherein R.sub.1 has the formula --O(CO)R', R' is selected from the group consisting of saturated, mono-unsaturated, di-unsaturated, and tri-unsaturated aliphatic hydrocarbon substituents of 7 to 21 carbon atoms optionally containing 1 to 3 hydroxyl groups, and R.sub.2 and R.sub.3 are independently selected from the group consisting of hydroxyl and --O(CO)R', and a C.sub.1 -C.sub.4 aliphatic alcohol.

7. The method of claim 6 wherein R' is selected from the group consisting of saturated, mono-unsaturated, di-unsaturated, or tri-unsaturated aliphatic hydrocarbon substituents of 11-21 carbon atoms optionally containing 1-3 hydroxyl groups, and R.sub.2 and R.sub.3 are both hydroxyl.

8. The method of claim 7 wherein the sorbitan ester is selected from the group consisting of sorbitan monooleate, sorbitan monolaurate, and mixtures thereof.

9. The method of claim 6 wherein the C.sub.1 -C.sub.4 aliphatic alcohol is selected from the group consisting of ethanol, n-propanol, isopropanol, t-butanol, and mixtures thereof.

10. A composition of matter for the transdermal administration of a steroid drug, comprising: (a) a therapeutically effective amount of the steroid drug; and (b) a permeation enhancer consisting essentially of a sorbitan ester having the structural formula ##STR4## wherein R.sub.1 has the formula --O(CO)R', where R' is selected from the group consisting of saturated, mono-unsaturated, di-unsaturated, and tri-unsaturated aliphatic hydrocarbon substituents of 7 to 21 carbon atoms optionally containing 1 to 3 hydroxyl groups, and R.sub.2 and R.sub.3 are independently selected from the group consisting of hydroxyl and --O(CO)R'.

11. The composition of claim 10 wherein R' is selected from the group consisting of saturated, mono-unsaturated, di-unsaturated, or tri-unsaturated aliphatic hydrocarbon substituents of 11-21 carbon atoms optionally containing 1-3 hydroxyl groups, and R.sub.2 and R.sub.3 are both hydroxyl.

12. The composition of claim 11 wherein the sorbitan ester is selected from the group consisting of sorbitan monooleate, sorbitan monolaurate, and mixtures thereof.

13. The composition of claim 10 wherein the steroid drug is selected from the group consisting of estradiol, progesterone, norethindrone acetate, and mixtures thereof.

14. The composition of claim 10 further including a pharmaceutically acceptable inert vehicle.

15. The composition of claim 14 wherein R' is selected from the group consisting of saturated, mono-unsaturated, di-unsaturated, or tri-unsaturated aliphatic hydrocarbon substituents of 11-21 carbon atoms optionally containing 1-3 hydroxyl groups, and R.sub.2 and R.sub.3 are both hydroxyl.

16. The composition of claim 15 wherein the sorbitan ester is selected from the group consisting of sorbitan monooleate, sorbitan monolaurate, and mixtures thereof.

17. The composition of claim 14 wherein the C.sub.1 -C.sub.4 aliphatic alcohol is selected from the group consisting of ethanol, n-propanol, isopropanol, t-butanol, and mixtures thereof.

18. The composition of claim 14 wherein the steroid is selected from the group consisting of estradiol, progesterone, norethindrone acetate, and mixtures thereof.
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