Promotion of oral insulin absorption in diabetic rabbits using pH-dependent coated capsules containing sodium cholate

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The hypoglycemic effect of oral insulin (40 U) capsules coated with a pH-dependent soluble polymer (Eudragit S100) and containing various doses of sodium cholate (20, 50, 100 mg) was studied in alloxan-hyperglycemic rabbits and compared with that of s.c. insulin injection (20 U). Sodium cholate (20 and 50 mg/capsule) produced a dose-related enhancement of an insulin-induced decrease in the blood glucose level. Insulin capsules containing sodium cholate (50 mg/capsule) produced a steady reduction of the blood glucose level reaching 69% of the initial values (P < 0.01) by 3 h and 48% (P < 0.001) by 5 h after administration. This capsule produced an AUC0-5 h of 125 ± 14.8 mg · h/dl with relative hypoglycemia (R.H.) of 25.8% compared with insulin s.c. The capsules containing sodium cholate (100 mg), however, did not significantly (P > 0.05) improve the hypoglycemic effect of insulin more than the smaller dose (50 mg/capsule) producing an AUC and R.H. of 135 ± 12.3 mg · h/dl and 27.9%, respectively. The capsule coated with Eudragit S100 and containing insulin mixed with sodium cholate seems to be a promising formulation to overcome the unavailability of oral insulin.

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