DARU Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences

, Volume 27, Issue 2, pp 673–681 | Cite as

Improved transdermal delivery of cetirizine hydrochloride using polymeric microneedles

  • Muhammad Sohail Arshad
  • Sana Hassan
  • Amjad Hussain
  • Nasir Abbas
  • Israfil Kucuk
  • Kazem Nazari
  • Radeyah Ali
  • Suleman Ramzan
  • Ali Alqahtani
  • Eleftherios G. Andriotis
  • Dimitris G. Fatouros
  • Ming-Wei Chang
  • Zeeshan AhmadEmail author
Research article



The aim of this study was to design and characterize microneedle patch formulation containing cetirizine hydrochloride.


Chitosan was co-formulated with cetirizine hydrochloride. Transdermal patches were prepared by casting this solution to microneedle molds. Control patches were formulated by casting this solution to a plain cuvet of same area as mold but lacking microneedles. An array of methods namely; differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were employed for the characterization of the films and the microneedles accordingly whereas in vitro permeation studies were conducted across rat skin. Light microscopy was performed to assess any histological changes upon microneedles application onto the rat skin.


The patches had a reproducible thickness (0.86 ± 0.06 mm) and folding endurance. Both the blank and drug loaded patches had 100 microneedles each of 300 micrometre length. In addition, the microneedle patches were ascribed with a two-fold increase in drug permeation across rat skin in the presence of microneedles as compared to the control formulations. Histological examination confirms a minimal invasion of the skin conferred by the microneedles.


The microneedle patches serve as an alternate route of drug administration in patients with nausea and swelling difficulties.

Graphical abstract

Microneedle patch manifest a two-fold increase in the skin permeation of Cetirizine Hydrochloride as compared to the control that is drug loaded patch without microneedles


Microneedles Transdermal Drug delivery Cetirizine Hydrochloride 



The authors acknowledge the financial support provided by Higher Education Commision of Pakistan under National Research Program for Universities (NRPU) vide No: 7401/Punjab/NRPU/R&D/HEC/2017.

Authors’ contributions

All authors contributed to the preparation of the manuscript and the study (i.e. through various streams be it planning, experiments, analysis of data, data preparation etc).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors have no conflict of interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muhammad Sohail Arshad
    • 1
  • Sana Hassan
    • 1
  • Amjad Hussain
    • 2
  • Nasir Abbas
    • 2
  • Israfil Kucuk
    • 3
  • Kazem Nazari
    • 4
  • Radeyah Ali
    • 4
  • Suleman Ramzan
    • 4
  • Ali Alqahtani
    • 4
  • Eleftherios G. Andriotis
    • 5
  • Dimitris G. Fatouros
    • 5
  • Ming-Wei Chang
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
  • Zeeshan Ahmad
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Faculty of PharmacyBahauddin Zakariya UniversityMultanPakistan
  2. 2.College of PharmacyUniversity of the Punjab LahoreLahorePakistan
  3. 3.Faculty of Engineering and natural sciencesBursa Technical UniversityBursaTurkey
  4. 4.The Leicester School of PharmacyDe Montfort UniversityLeicesterUK
  5. 5.Department of PharmacyAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  6. 6.Department of Biomedical Engineering, Key Laboratory of Ministry of EducationZhejiang UniversityHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  7. 7.Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Cardio-Cerebral Vascular Detection Technology and Medicinal Effectiveness AppraisalZhejiang UniversityHangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  8. 8.Nanotechnology and Integrated Bioengineering CentreUniversity of UlsterNewtownabbeyUK

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