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Topical application of Vitamin K1 has been demonstrated to effectively treat papulopustular skin rash, a serious and frequently encountered side effect of Epidermal Growth Factor Inhibitors (EGFRIs). Systemic absorption of vitamin K1 from skin and the resultant consequence of antagonizing EGFRIs anticancer effects jeopardizes the clinical acceptability of this rather effective treatment. The purpose of the present study was to rationally formulate and evaluate the release rate and transdermal absorption of a wide range of Vitamin K1 dermal preparations with a variety of physiochemical properties. A library of 33 formulations with were compounded and tested for Vitamin K1 permeation using hydrophobic membranes and porcine skin mounted in a Fran diffusion cells. Our results demonstrate the lowest diffusion for water-in-oil emulsions, which also demonstrated a negligible transdermal absorption. The statistical analysis showed a significant correlation between in vitro and ex vivo results. While viscosity did not have a significant impact on the diffusion or absorption of vitamin K1, an increase in the lipid content was correlated with an increase in transmembrane diffusion (not with transdermal absorption). Overall, formulation design significantly impacts the release rate and transdermal absorption of vitamin K1, and confirms the possibility of minimal systemic distribution of this vitamin for this specific purpose.


This article was originally published in PLoS ONE, volume 13, issue 10, in 2018. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0204531


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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