Macromolecular prodrugs (MPDs) of mefenamic acid were designed onto a cellulose ether derivative hydroxypropylcellulose (HPC) as ester conjugates. Fabrication of HPC-mefenamic acid conjugates was achieved by using p-toluenesulfonyl chloride as carboxylic acid (a functional group in drug) activator at 80°C for 24 h under nitrogen atmosphere. Reaction was preceded under homogeneous reaction conditions as HPC was dissolved before use in DMAc solvent. Imidazole was used as a base. Easy workup reactions resulted in good yields (55-65%) and degree of substitution (DS) of drug (0.37-0.99) onto HPC. The DS was calculated by acid-base titration after saponification and UV/Vis spectrophotometry after hydrolysis. DS by both of the methods was found in good agreement with each other. Aqueous and organic soluble novel prodrugs of mefenamic acid were purified and characterized by different spectroscopic and thermal analysis techniques. The initial, maximum and final degradation temperatures of HPC, mefenamic acid and HPC-mefenamic acid conjugates were drawn from thermogravimetric (TG) and derivative TG curves and compared to access relative thermal stability. The TG analysis has indicated that samples obtained were thermally more stable especially with increased stability of mefenamic acid in HPC-mefenamic acid conjugates. These novel MPDs of mefenamic acid (i.e., HPC-mefenamic acid conjugates) may have potential applications in pharmaceutically viable drug design due to wide range of solubility and extra thermal stability imparted after MPD formation.

Muhammad Ajaz Hussain, Rukhsana Kausar, Muhammad Amin and Muhammad Raza Shah