Niosomes as a novel pharmaceutical formulation encapsulating the hepatoprotective drug silymarin

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© 2015, International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science. All rights reserved. Silymarin is a purified extract isolated from seeds of the milk thistle Silybum marianum. It has been used for more than 2000 years to treat liver and gallbladder disorders. Based on the poor bioavailability of silymarin and on the advantages of niosomes, the objective of this research is to develop a silymarin niosomal preparation with enhanced activity and limited side effects. Silymarin loaded niosomes were prepared using different non-ionic surfactants (NIS), cholesterol (Ch) and different charge inducing agents (CIA) in molar ratios (1:1:0.1) and (2:1:0.25). The effect of components molar ratio and effect of surface charges on the percentage drug encapsulated were investigated. Characterization of prepared niosomes was performed via transmission electron microscopy (TEM), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), particle size analysis and also investigation of the in-vitro release profiles. Selected silymarin niosomal formulations were evaluated for their hepatoprtective activity against carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) induced oxidative stress in albino rats. Biochemical parameters like serum glutamate oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT), serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase (SGPT) and serum alkaline phosphatase (SALP) were used to measure the degree of liver protection. Silymarin niosomal formulations produced a significant decrease in both transaminase levels as well as in SALP level in comparison with administered silymarin suspension. This improvement was also proven histopathologically.

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