The effect of mucilages of three potato starches with maize starch mucilage on ameliorating the brittle fracture index of paracetamol tablets has been studied. Three potato starches were extracted using standard procedures. The starches were subjected to microscopy. Granules from their 5% w/v binder solutions were evaluated for flow properties and the tablets formulated for tablet parameters. Brittle Fracture Indices (BFI) of the tablet formulations were determined by making two batches of tablets, one batch with centre holes and the other regular “blind” tablets. Acomparison was made between the BFI values of the tablets made with the various potato starch mucilages and those made with maize starch mucilage. Granules and tablets formulated with the potato and maize starch mucilages met official compendial specifications and were comparable in granule flow properties, tablet weight variation, crushing strength, friability, disintegration times and dissolution rate. The brittle fracture indices of the tablets were not directly proportional to their tensile strengths and disintegration times. The rank order of BFI of the paracetamol tablets based on the mucilage type was: maize starch > Irish potato starch > sweet white potato starch > sweet pink potato starch. The potato starch mucilages at 5% w/v concentration gave paracetamol tablets of acceptable BFI as well as acceptable dissolution profiles. The potato starch mucilage reduced the brittle fracture tendency of the paracetamol tablets more than the maize starch mucilage. Hence the potato starch mucilages could be used as alternatives to maize starch mucilage, especially where faster disintegration is required of the tablets.
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