An interesting relationship between drug absorption and melting point

Katherine A. Chu, Samuel H. Yalkowsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The ability to predict the extent of passive intestinal drug absorption is very important for efficient lead candidate selection and development. Physicochemical-based absorption predictive models previously developed use solubility, partition coefficient and pKa as drug input parameters for intestinal absorption. Alternatively, this study looks at the relationship between melting point and passive transport for poorly soluble drugs. It is based entirely on the expression derived from the General Solubility Equation (GSE) that relates melting point to the product of intrinsic solubility and partition coefficient. Given that the melting point of a compound is one of the first and more reliable physical properties measured, it can be advantageously used as a guide in early drug discovery and development. This paper elucidates the interesting relationship between the melting point and dose to the fraction absorbed of poorly soluble drugs, i.e., class II and IV compounds in the Biopharmaceutics Classification System. The newly defined melting point based absorption potential (MPbAP) parameter is successful at distinguishing 90% of the 91 drugs considered being well absorbed (FA > 0.5) or poorly absorbed. In general, lower melting compounds are more likely to be well absorbed than higher melting compounds for any given dose. The fraction absorbed for drugs with high melting temperatures is limited by the dose to a greater degree than it is for low melting compounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-40
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - May 21 2009


  • Absorption
  • Absorption potential
  • Bioavailability
  • Dose
  • Fraction absorbed
  • Melting point
  • Partition coefficient
  • Passive absorption
  • Solubility
  • Suspension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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