The binding properties of Eucalyptus gum obtained from the incised trunk of Eucalyptus tereticornis, were evaluated in paracetamol tablet formulations, in comparison with that of Gelatin B.P. In so doing, the compression properties were analyzed using density measurements and the compression equations of Heckel, Kawakita and Gurham. In our work, the mechanical properties of the tablets were assessed using the crushing strength and friability of the tablets, while the drug release properties of the tablets were assessed using disintegration and dissolution times. The results of the study reveal that tablet formulations incorporating Eucalyptus gum as binder, exhibited faster onset and higher amount of plastic deformation during compression than those containing gelatin. What is more, the Gurnham equation could be used as a substitute for the Kawakita equation in describing the compression properties of pharmaceutical tablets. Furthermore, the crushing strength, disintegration and dissolution times of the tablets increased with binder concentration, while friability values decreased. We noted that no significant differences in properties exist between formulations derived from the two binders (p > 0.05) exist. While tablets incorporating gelatin exhibited higher values for mechanical properties, Eucalyptus gum tablets had better balance between mechanical and release properties - as seen from the CSFR/Dt values. Tablets of good mechanical and release properties were prepared using Eucalyptus gum as a binder, and, therefore, it could serve as an alternative binder in producing tablets with good mechanical strength and fast drug release.
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