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Lipid peroxidation: Its effects on the formulation and use of pharmaceutical emulsions

Ramona Khanum;Haema Thevanayagam;School of Postgraduate Studies, International Medical University (IMU);  
Pharmaceutical delivery systems are developed to improve the physicochemical properties of therapeutic compounds. Emulsions are one of these drug delivering systems formulated using water, oils and lipids as main ingredients. Extensive data are usually generated on the physical and chemical characteristics of these oil-in-water and lipid emulsions. However, the oxidative tendency of emulsions is often overlooked. Oxidation impacts the overall quality and safety of these pharmaceutical emulsions. Additionally, introducing oxidatively unstable emulsions into biological systems further promotes oxidation in situ. Products of these reactions then continue to pose serious harm to cells and fuel other physiological oxidation reactions. Consequently, the increase of oxidation products leads to oxidative damage to biological systems. Thus, emulsions with lower lipid peroxidation are more stable and will reduce the negative effects of oxidation in situ. Preventive measures during the formulation of emulsions are important. Many naturally occurring and cost effective substances possess low oxidation tendencies and confer oxidative protection when used in emulsions. Additionally,certain preparatory methods should be employed to reduce or better control lipid peroxidation.Finally, emulsions must be evaluated for their oxidation susceptibility using the various techniques available. Careful attention to the preparation of emulsions and assessment of their oxidative stability will help produce safer emulsions without compromising efficacy.
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