Sugar esters (SEs) have a wide range of hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB) values (1–16) and hence can be applied as surfactants
or as solubility or penetration enhancers. They can be used for hot melt technology and solvent method which are frequently
applied techniques to preparation of solid dispersions. In this study drug-SE products were prepared by physical mixing, melt
technology and solvent methods. The products were investigated by DSC, X-ray powder diffraction and dissolution tests. Diclofenac
sodium (DS) as model drug and two SEs, P1670 (HLB=16) and S970 (HLB=9) were used for the preparation of the products.
DSC curves revealed considerable melting range and enthalpy decreases for the DS-SE products. The dissolved drug molecules
broke down the structures of the SEs but were not built into the crystalline phase of the carrier. The melt technology led
to a solid dispersion while in the case of the solvent methods the DS was in molecularly dispersed form which resulted in
faster dissolution. The drug release was influenced by the structures resulting from the various treatments, by the HLB and
by the gel-forming behaviour of the SEs.