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Formulation, long-term physicochemical and microbiological stability of 15% topical resorcinol for hidradenitis suppurativa


Objectives Topical resorcinol 15% is a self-treatment for painful hidradenitis suppurativa nodules and abscesses with good results in reducing pain and lesion duration. The aim of this study is to establish a 15% topical resorcinol formula, to develop a physicochemical and microbiological stability study and to further determine the compounding shelf-life in different package conditions following the European Pharmacopoeia (Ph. Eur.) specifications.

Methods Physicochemical and microbiological stability studies of the formulation were conducted for 12 months at room temperature (25°C±2°C) in different package conditions: aluminium tubes (aluminium A7-99.7% varnish DF-6172), plastic tubes (low density polyethylene) and amber plastic containers (polyethylene terephthalate). High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was developed as a method of indicating the stability of the resorcinol formulation. A microbiological growth assay was also validated according to the Ph. Eur. Physical properties were inspected to determine parameters such as odour, colour, pH, emulsion phase and extensibility index and its evolution.

Results The HPLC method was validated according to the International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH) guidelines. At day 365, visual inspection remained unchanged only for preparations packaged in aluminium tubes. The pH did not vary by more than 0.3 units in all conditions. The extensibility index decreased in the preparations packaged in plastic and amber plastic containers. HPLC analysis conducted over 1 year did not show a degradation greater than 7% of resorcinol in the preparation in plastic and aluminium packages. The ability of ATCC strains to grow in resorcinol formulation was confirmed under the suitability test. Resorcinol packed in aluminium tubes achieved microbiological stability at day 365.

Conclusions Only the formulation package in aluminium tubes showed physicochemical and microbiological stability of resorcinol for 12 months at room temperature (25°C±2°C).

  • dermatology
  • pharmaceutical preparations
  • pharmacy service
  • hospital
  • microbiology
  • drug compounding

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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