Objectives Patient medication compliance can be seriously affected by a bitter taste. There are various taste-masking agents, but they urgently need to be improved. Mesoporous molecular sieves are a type of 3-dimensional nanostructure that has a regular pore diameter (2–50 nm), has a large surface area, and is non-toxic. These structures are widely used in biomedicine but their application in the drug taste-masking field has not previously been reported. The objective of this investigation was to prepare three different mesoporous molecular sieves (MCM-41, MCM-48 and HMSS) and to determine their masking properties through volunteer tasting.
Methods MCM-41, MCM-48 and HMSS were synthesized using a hydrothermal method. The bitter-tasting drug cetirizine (CTH) was used as the model drug. CTH-sieve composites were prepared using the impregnation method and the composites were characterized by means of XRD, FTIR, nitrogen physical adsorption and TGA. Three commonly used taste-masking agents were used as contrast to mask the bitter flavor of CTH.
Results MCM-41, MCM48 and HMSS showed a large CTH loading capacity of 25.12%, 32.91% and 50.00%, respectively, and effectively reduced the bitter taste of CTH by covering the oral mucous membrane thus reducing irritation.
Conclusions The pore structure and large surface area of the sieves improved taste-masking efficiency compared with common taste-masking agents. Mesoporous molecular sieves have the potential to increase the efficacy of taste-masking agents.
Acknowledgments This research was financially supported by Jilin Provincial Development and Reform Commission Industrial Technology Research and Development Funds (Grant No. 2014Y091).