Rosacea: An Introduction

Emulsions, Gels, and Ointments as Topical Carriers

In a preferred embodiment, the topical carrier used to deliver a compound of the invention is an emulsion, gel, or ointment.

Emulsions, such as creams and lotions are suitable topical formulations for use in the invention. An emulsion is a dispersed system comprising at least two immiscible phases, one phase dispersed in the other as droplets ranging in diameter from 0.1 .mu.m to 100 .mu.m. An emulsifying agent is typically included to improve stability. When water is the dispersed phase and an oil is the dispersion medium, the emulsion is termed a water-in-oil emulsion. When an oil is dispersed as droplets throughout the aqueous phase as droplets, the emulsion is termed an oil-in-water emulsion. Emulsions, such as creams and lotions that can be used as topical carriers and their preparation are disclosed in REMINGTON: THE SCIENCE AND PRACTICE OF PHARMACY 282-291 (Alfonso R. Gennaro ed. 19th ed. 1995), hereby incorporated herein by reference.

In another embodiment, the topical carrier used to deliver a compound of the invention is a gel, for example, a two-phase gel or a single-phase gel. Gels are semisolid systems consisting of suspensions of small inorganic particles or large organic molecules interpenetrated by a liquid. When the gel mass comprises a network of small discrete inorganic particles, it is classified as a two-phase gel. Single-phase gels consist of organic macromolecules distributed uniformly throughout a liquid such that no apparent boundaries exist between the dispersed macromolecules and the liquid. Suitable gels for use in the invention are disclosed in REMINGTON: THE SCIENCE AND PRACTICE OF PHARMACY 1517-1518 (Alfonso R. Gennaro ed. 19th ed. 1995), hereby incorporated herein by reference. Other suitable gels for use with the invention are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,387,383 (issued May 14, 2002); U.S. Pat. No. 6,517,847 (issued Feb. 11, 2003); and U.S. Pat. No. 6,468,989 (issued Oct. 22, 2002), each of which patents is hereby incorporated herein by reference.

Polymer thickeners (gelling agents) that may be used include those known to one skilled in the art, such as hydrophilic and hydroalcoholic gelling agents frequently used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. Preferably, the hydrophilic or hydroalcoholic gelling agent comprises "CARBOPOL.RTM." (B.F. Goodrich, Cleveland, Ohio), "HYPAN.RTM." (Kingston Technologies, Dayton, N.J.), "NATROSOL.RTM." (Aqualon, Wilmington, Del.), "KLUCEL.RTM." (Aqualon, Wilmington, Del.), or "STABILEZE.RTM." (ISP Technologies, Wayne, N.J.). Preferably the gelling agent comprises between about 0.2% to about 4% by weight of the composition. More particularly, the preferred compositional weight percent range for "CARBOPOL.RTM." is between about 0.5% to about 2%, while the preferred weight percent range for "NATROLSOL.RTM." and "KLUCEL.RTM." is between about 0.5% to about 4%. The preferred compositional weight percent range for both "HYPAN.RTM." and "STABILEZE.RTM." is between 0.5% to about 4%.

"CARBOPOL.RTM." is one of numerous cross-linked acrylic acid polymers that are given the general adopted name carbomer. These polymers dissolve in water and form a clear or slightly hazy gel upon neutralization with a caustic material such as sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, triethanolamine, or other amine bases. "KLUCEL.RTM." is a cellulose polymer that is dispersed in water and forms a uniform gel upon complete hydration. Other preferred gelling polymers include hydroxyethylcellulose, cellulose gum, MVE/MA decadiene crosspolymer, PVM/MA copolymer, or a combination thereof.

In another preferred embodiment, the topical carrier used to deliver a compound of the invention is an ointment. Ointments are oleaginous semisolids that contain little if any water. Preferably, the ointment is hydrocarbon based, such as a wax, petrolatum, or gelled mineral oil. Suitable ointments for use in the invention are well known in the art and are disclosed in REMINGTON: THE SCIENCE AND PRACTICE OF PHARMACY 1585-1591 (Alfonso R. Gennaro ed. 19th ed. 1995), hereby incorporated herein by reference.


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