Nowadays, we desire larger closets, automobiles, and homes, but in the field of pharmaceutical sciences, more is not always better. When it comes to drug administration, the key to attaining optimal absorption is reframing our understanding. Therefore, the only aspect we will discuss today is the grain size.
One of the most important ways to increase the bioavailability of medicine is to increase its water solubility and membrane permeability. The greater a drug’s solubility, the greater its likelihood of being assimilated orally, topically, transdermally, or parenterally. Only solubilized drug molecules can be taken by cellular membranes and transported to the location of pharmacological action.
One technique to increase the solubility of medicine is to decrease its particle size. Hence, the rising interest and application of micronization and the products of micronized powder.
What is Micronization?
Even down to the nanometer range, particle size reduction is possible. Because of the high costs of drug nanotechnology, commercial and compounded formulations now use particle sizes in the micron range rather than the nano range.
While the cost of micronization is higher than nanotechnology, they are more cost-effective for pharmaceutical companies and more efficient than nanonization methods. Scientists use the micron unit of measurement to gauge the fineness of a drug’s micronized particles. Abbreviation “micron” means “micrometer” or a millionth millimeter. Therefore, one millimeter is equal to one thousand microns in length.
What is Micronized Powder?
A micronized powder is any substance in powder form, with particles measuring in diameter in microns (= 106 meters in length).
A “micron” is an abbreviation for “micrometer,” which is one-millionth of a meter (1/1,000,000 meters). As a result, one millimeter equals one thousand microns. The following is a list of common micron-sized items:
- Plant pollen – 37 microns
- Bacteria – 0.2 to 3 microns
- Fine beach sand – 100-250 microns
- Human hair 70-75 microns
- Width of a red blood cell – 5 microns
- Cigarette smoke – 2.5 microns
- One grain of table salt 100 microns
When medicine is stated as micronized, its particle size usually is smaller than 50 microns. Micronized APIs have a particle size that is 4 to 10 times smaller than typical drug particles.
When comparing everyday things, medications with diameters of 50 microns or less are equivalent to plant pollen, whereas normal cells, such as red blood cells, have diameters of 5 microns. Because a medicine must CROSS the cellular membranes to function, it must be smaller than a cell (below 5 microns).
But how is this possible?
Here’s where solubility kicks in; the more micronized the medicine, the greater the probability it will get solvated in its solvent, subsequently improving its absorption. This is because solubilization disintegrates the crystal drug elements into considerably smaller molecules.
A molecule’s size is substantially smaller than that of nano-sized or micronized pharmaceuticals. Only when a drug gets broken down to its molecular level by dissolution can it be taken up across living cells via transport receptors on biomembranes.
3 Key Advantages of Micronized Powder
- Improved Bioavailability
Since its inception, micronization technology has enhanced drug bioavailability in medicine. One notable example is the medicine fenofibrate used to help patients with elevated cholesterol levels. Fenofibrate is extremely water-insoluble and inadequately absorbed.
It had to be given with food to increase bioavailability; however, due to the inconvenience, drug adherence was low. Drug manufacturers created micronized, nanoparticle versions of fenofibrate, and the smaller particle sizes led to increased solubility and improved absorption.
Under certain circumstances, the micronized versions can even be administered irrespective of food. When compared to conventional fenofibrate, micronized fenofibrate dissolved more than ten times faster at 30 minutes.
Furthermore, the bioavailability of the fenofibrate formulations differed, resulting in different doses for each; the micronized fenofibrate was given in doses ranging from 40 to 67 mg, while the standard formulation was given in doses ranging from 120 to 200 mg.
This is one of many examples demonstrating unequivocally that micronized pharmaceuticals have higher drug solubility and bioavailability than non-micronized equivalents.
- Applicable in Compound Medications
So, you’re probably wondering, “Wait, is my medication containing micronized chemicals or non-micronized medications?” The issue is that not all pharmaceutical companies or compounding pharmacies use micronized APIs. Micronization procedures such as jet milling and bead milling require more financial resources; hence, they are more expensive to produce.
Not all drug manufacturers will use these techniques to design a higher-grade medicine, and not all compounding pharmacies will pay more for a higher-quality formula. Furthermore, neither federal nor state regulations force drug manufacturers or compounding pharmacies to employ micronized medications over non-micronized drugs; producers and pharmacies must use FDA-approved, pharmaceutical-grade ingredients.
- Enhanced Transdermal Absorption
Only using micronized drug ingredients ensures that patients receive a high-quality compound treatment with improved transdermal absorption, which is especially important with hormone creams. Patients have stated that compound meds “perform better” or constantly feel terrific daily.
Numerous people who are into fitness have started using micronized creatine to help them run faster, leap higher, and prevail over their rivals. Micronized powder has greater bioavailability. There is adequate research to substantiate the use of creatine in boosting muscle performance, strength, and energy despite its low accessibility. From the data obtained, it is clear why many are excited to use it.