Development and Evaluation of Rhinacanthus nasutus Root Extract Gel as Antifungal Drug for the Treatment of Skin Infection

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Patamaporn Pruksakorn
Chattraporn Jaima
Virat Sumateewatanakul
Waridtha Sa-nguanruang
Parnuphan Panyajai
Rinrapas Autthateinchai
Nanthawan Mekha
Navakanit Sachanonta
Panadda Dhepakson

Abstract

Rhinacanthus nasutus (L.) Kurz,, or thong-phan-chang in Thai, has been used in Thai folk medicine for the
treatment of skin diseases, especially ringworm, tinea versicolor and eczema. This plant, particularly its roots, exhibits a potent antifungal activity against dermatophytes. This study aimed to develop a topical antifungal formulation from R. nasutus roots which underwent the quality analysis, efficacy testing, and safety testing. Gel preparation that was developed using sodium carboxymethyl cellulose achieved the proper characteristics. The prepared R. nasutus root extract gel contained (0.10% rhinacanthin C) contained rhinacanthin C as an active ingredient within the specified concentration (90.0-110.0% labeled amount). Regarding efficacy, the gel preparation exhibited an in vitro antifungal activity against dermatophytes. The results of skin irritation and skin sensitization tests according to ISO10993-10 indicated that the gel preparation did not cause skin irritation on rabbits nor skin sensitization in guinea pigs. However, an in vivo efficacy study by once-daily application of the gel preparation for 14 consecutive
days revealed that the fungal infection rate in guinea pigs dropped to 59.55%. Therefore, the R. nasutus root extract gel should be further investigated for its appropriate dosage and administration before evaluating its safety and efficacy in a clinical trial.

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