You are on page 1of 59

Glossary Of Pharmaceutical

Dosage Forms and Drug

Delivery Systems


Pharmaceutical aerosols are:

Products packaged under pressure that contain therapeutically

active ingredients that are released as a :
1. fine mist,
2. spray, or
3. foam on actuation of the valve assembly.
The pressure within the aerosol container is given by:
an inert compressed or liquefied gas, termed the propellant.


Type of emission depends on:

Types of emissions: (i) fine mist; (ii)
coarse spray, (iii) foam, etc.
Some aerosol emissions are intended to
1. ;
2. .

Some aerosols have metered valve:

Assemblies to permit a specific quantity
of emission on valve actuation for dosage

Aromatic water
Aromatic waters are:
clear, saturated solutions of volatile oils or other
aromatic substances in water.
They are used ,, or for the
characteristics of the aromatic material they contain.

Capsules are solid dosage forms in which one or more medicinal
and/or inert substances are enclosed within sII\all shells of
Capsule shells are produced in varying sizes, shapes, thickness,
softness, and color.
Hard shell capsules, .which have two telescoping pares-the body
and the cap-are commonly used in extemporaneous hand-filling
operations as well as in small and large scale manufacture of
commercial capsules.
Usually are filled with powder mixtures and granules.
After filling, the two capsule pares are joined for tight closure.
They may also be sealed and bonded through a variety of
special processes for added quality assurance and capsule

Soft-shell gelatin capsules, which are unibodied, are formed,

filled, and sealed in the same process.
Highly specialized and large-scale equipment is required,
Thus, soft gelatin capsules are only prepared commercially.
They are rendered soft through the addition of a plasticizer to
the capsule shell formulation.
Soft gelatin capsules may be filled with semisolids, or liquids .

In addition to their medication content, capsules usually

contain inert pharmaceutical substances, such as fillers:
(i) ; (ii)
; (iii)
; ..etc.

When swallowed, the gelatin shell is dissolved by the

gastrointestinal fluids, releasing the contents.
Capsules containing only nontherapeutic materials are
termed .
are used widely in controlled
clinical studies to evaluate the activity of a drug
compared to non-drug in a group of human subjects.

Enteric coated capsules and tablets, or their

granulated contents.
Are coated with special materials which is gastric
fluid resist to:

1. or;
2. .

Drugs in enteric coated products are intended to be

released after transit through the stomach into the

Extended-release capsules are formulated to:

provide the active release of the medication from
the dosage form over an extended period of time,
such as 24 hours.
The purpose is to:

1. ;
2. ;
3. .

Collodions are liquid preparations composed of
pyroxylin dissolved in a solvent mixture usually
composed of alcohol and ether with or without added
medicinal substances.
They are intended for external application to the skin.
The solvent rapidly evaporates, leaving a thin
protective film of pyroxylin (and medication, such as
salicylic acid as a corn remover)


Creams are semisolid preparations containing one or more

drug substances dissolved or dispersed in a suitable base.
Creams are used primarily for administering drugs to the
skin, although some are prepared for vaginal use.
Many creams are either:

3. .

Compared to ointments, creams are:

2. .

drug delivery systems (DDS)

Various physical carriers are used to deliver
medications to site-specific areas in various
Routes of DDS are: (i) transdermal; (ii) ocular; (iii)
intrauterine systems.
Transdermal drug delivery systems (TDDS) are
designed to support the passage of drug substances
from the , through its
various layers, .
The systems are highly sophisticated skin patches
containing the drug formulation within a reservoir
as part of the device for the controlled delivery of
drug into the skin.

Ocular drug delivery systems consist of drugimpregnated membranes, which when placed in the
lower conjunctival sac, release medication over an
extended period.. .
Intrauterine drug delivery systems consist of a drugcontaining intrauterine device that releases
medication over an extended period after insertion

Pull down the cheek, stabilize hand with dropper on patient's

forehead, have patient look up, and place the drop in the
conjunctival sac.

Elixirs are sweetened, flavored, hydroalcoholic solutions
intended for oral administration.
They may be or

Compared to syrups, elixirs are usually less

and less
because they contain a lesser
amount of .
elixirs are better able than are syrups to maintain both
water-soluble and alcohol-soluble components in solution.
Additional co-solvents, such as
or , also may be used.

The proportion of alcohol present in elixirs varies

widely with the formulation and the requirements for
Elixirs of high alcoholic content generally include
artificial sweeteners rather than sucrose as the
Because of their alcoholic content, elixirs generally are
not administered to:
1. ;
2. or;

An emulsion is a type of disperse system in which one
liquid is dispersed throughout another liquid in the
form of fine droplets.
The two liquids, generally an oil and water, are
immiscible and constitute two phases that tend to
separate into layers.
A third agent, an emulsifier or emulsifying agent (EA),
is added to facilitate the emulsification process and to
provide stability to the system.
The disperse phase is referred to as the internal phase,
The dispersing phase is termed the external phase.

When the oil is the internal phase, the emulsion is called

an oil-in-water or "o/w" emulsion.
If water is the internal phase, the emulsion is called a
water-in-oil or "w/o" emulsion.
The type of emulsion produced is largely determined by
the hydrophilicity or lipophilicity of the EA.
EA may have both hydrophilic and lipophilic

The term hydrophilelipophile balance (HlB

1. ;
2. :

EA that are more hydrophilic generally produce O/W emulsions,

EA that are more lipophilic generally produce W/O emulsions.

Calculations are used to determine the quantities of oil, water,

and EA to use in preparing a stable emulsion.
Oral Emulsions are prepared & administered orally for the
medicinal benefit of the oil (e.g., mineral oil, oleaginous
vitamins A and D).
The taste and oleaginous feel of the oil is masked:
1. ;

3. :

lotions, foams, and creams.

4. Intravenous Emulsions are prepared for the nutritional
benefit of the oil (usually ).

Implants or pellets
Implants or pellets are small, sterile, solid dosage
forms containing concentrated drug

FDA clears implantable contraceptive

19 July 2006

It is a contraceptive device that slides under the skin, and

lasts up to three years. It fills a gap left by Norplant, whose
bulky implant went off the market in 2000.

Inhalations are finely powdered drug substances,
solutions, or suspensions of drug substances
administered by the nasal or oral respiratory route for
local or systemic effects.
Special devices are used to facilitate administration.

Thanks to a new insulin inhaler, researchers say,

the daily injections many diabetics take may
become relics of the past.

Injections are sterile preparations intended for
parenteral administration by needle or pressure syringe.
Drugs may be injected into most any vessel or tissue of
the body.
The most common routes are intravenous (IV),
intramuscular (IM), and subcutaneous (SC).
Injections may be solutions or suspensions of a drug
substance in an aqueous or non-aqueous vehicle.
They may be small volume 'injections, packaged in
ampoules for single-dose administration or.
Vials for multiple dose injections.


Large volume parenterals, (l00 mL to 1000 mL of fluid),

are intended for the slow intravenous administration (or
infusion) of medications and/or nutrients in the
institutional or home-care setting.
Calculations include a number of special aspects:
the relation of the injection volume to drug dosage;
patient factors such as weight, body surface area, or
disease state;
The relation of the dosing regimen to the flow rate of the
Formulation calculations related to isotonicity, osmolality,
or milliequivalent content

Some injections are available in the dry state, (i.e.

) with a prescribed liquid
immediately before use.
Calculations may be used to 'determine the quantity of liquid
needed to prepare a product of desired concentration.
A similar circumstance applies when the pharmacist is called
on to place a drug "additive" () in a
large-volume parenteral fluid to achieve a specified
concentration of drug.
The source of the additive may be an ampoule or vial of the
desired drug.
Requiring the pharmacist to calculate the volume of injection
to add to the parenteral fluid.

Liniments are alcoholic or oleaginous solutions,
suspensions, or emulsions of medicinal agents intended
for external application to the skin, generally by rubbing.

Lotions are liquid preparations intended for external
application to the skin.
Generally lotions are suspensions or emulsions of dispersed
solid or liquid materials in an aqueous vehicle.
Their fluidity allows rapid and uniform application over a
wide skin surface.
Lotions are intended to and
of their components on the skin's
surface as they dry.



Similar term (s): pastille, tablet, troche

Lozenges are solid preparations containing:
, .
Lozenges are intended to dissolve or disintegrate slowly in the
Lozenges release medication generally for localized effects.
Lozenges are prepared by or
often contains a demulcent [i.e. a substance that
inflamed mucous membranes].

Magmas & Gels

Magmas and gels are examples of fine pharmaceutical
The suspensoid has a high degree of physical attraction to
the aqueous vehicle.
This attraction forms a gelatinous mixture that maintains
the uniformity & stability of the suspension.
Magmas and gels are administered
& .

Ointments are semisolid preparations intended for topical
Most ointments are applied to the skin, although-they
may also be administered ophthalmically, nasally, aurally,
rectally, or vaginally.
With few exceptions, ointments are applied for their local
effects on the tissue membrane rather than for systemic
It is possible for systemic effects to occur after the topical
application of medications.
Systemic absorption, which takes place through the skin's
surface, is referred to as .

Percutaneous absorption may be enhanced by many


1. ;

Through the hydrophiliclipophilic nature of the drug;

By virtue of the occlusive features of the topical
preparation and/or dressing.

Non-medicated ointments serve as the vehicles, or

ointment bases, for the addition of medication.
Ointment bases are usually of four general types:

(1) hydrocarbon or oleaginous bases

(), which do not mix well with
aqueous preparations and provide an
barrier to the skin;
(2) absorption bases (such as lanolin), which permit the
absorption of aqueous solutions, usually resulting in
W/O emulsions;
(3) waterremovable bases (hydrophilic ointment), which are
oil-in-water emulsions, or,
(4) water-soluble bases (polyethylene glycol ointment), both
of which are water washable.

In preparing a medicated ointment, the appropriate ointment

base is selected to which the medication is added.
The solid and semisolid materials in ointments are generally
weighed in preparing a prescription or product.
Liquid components may be measured
or converted by calculation to corresponding weight and then
Because ointments are semisolid preparations, they are also
, , and
on a weight basis.
Special care must be taken in the preparation of ophthalmic
ointments to render them:
1. free from and
2. to assure that the powders used in the formulation are either
dissolved or micronized to reduce or eliminate
that could cause eye irritation.

Pastes are semisolid dosage forms that contain one or
more drug substances intended for topical application.
Generally, pastes contain a higher proportion of solid
materials than ointments.
They are more stiff, less greasy, and more absorptive of
serous secretions when used on the skin.
Medicated dental pastes are also prepared for adhesion to
the mucous membranes for local effect.

Plasters are solid or semisolid adhesive masses spread
across a suitable backing material.
Intended for external application to a part of the body
for protection or for the medicinal benefit of added



Powders are dry mixtures of finely divided medicinal

and non-medicinal agents intended for internal or
external use.
Powders may be dispensed to a patient and used in
bulk form (such as powders measured by the spoonful
to make a douche solution);
divided into single dosage units and packaged in folded
palters or unit of use envelopes.

Solutions are liquid preparations that contain one or more
chemical substances (solute/s) dissolved in a solvent or
mixture of solvents.
The solutes may be active or inactive ingredients
The solutes may be solids, liquids, or gases in their
natural undissolved state.
The most common solvent used in pharmaceuticals is:
glycerin, and propylene glycol are used as solvents or cosolvents depending on
the product requirements for and


Solutions are formulated for administration by various routes such

as :
Oral solutions (mouth);
Ophthalmic solutions (eye);
Otic solutions (ear);
Nasal solutions (nose);
Rectal solutions;
Urethral solutions;
Epicutaneous solutions (skin);
Injectable solutions;
Irrigations solutions (used to bathe or flush open wounds or body
cavities are termed).
Certain solutions have special requirements, such as sterility
(e.g., injections, irrigations, and ophthalmic solutions).

The concentration of active ingredients in solutions varies

Some solutions are very diluted, whereas others are
highly concentrated.
The concentration of a given solution may be expressed
in molar strength, milliequivalent strength, percentage
strength, ratio strength, or other expression (e.g.,
milligrams per milliliter).
Knowledge the content or concentration of a solution is
critical in calculating the volume required to administer a
desired dose of drug.

Spirits are alcoholic or hydroalcoholic solutions of
volatile substances.
Depending on their contents, some spirits are used orally
for medicinal purposes and others as flavoring agents.

Suspensions are preparations containing finely divided,
undissolved drug particles dispersed throughout a liquid
depending on the concentration and size of the undissolved
suspended particles, suspensions assume a degree of
Suspensions are one type of disperse systems, common
among pharmaceutical preparations.
The suspended particles are referred to as the
, the ,
or .
The vehicle is termed the or
The particles of the disperse phase may be colloidal (about
1 m or less), fine (about 1 f.Lm), or coarse (lOO f.Lm).

Particles of greater density have a tendency to settle and form a

The addition of suspending agents, which add viscosity to the
vehicle, is one method of maintaining the dispersed phase in
Before administration, it is essential to redistribute any
particles to assure uniform dosing.
Suspensions are formulated for administration by a number of
routes, including:


parenteral (by injection).

Ophthalmic suspensions must be:

and the suspension must be
or to eliminate
any grittiness that might cause irritation

Suppositories are solid dosage forms intended for
insertion into body orifices where they melt, soften, or
dissolve and exert localized or systemic effects.
They are commonly used rectally and vaginally, and
occasionally urethrally.
Suppositories are prepared in various weights, sizes, and
shapes depending on their intended use.

Rectal suppositories intended for adults usually weigh about 2

g, measure about 1 'l2' in. in length, and are cylindric or bulletshaped.
Rectal suppositories for infants and children are
proportionately smaller.
Vaginal suppositories commonly weigh about 5 g and are
globular, oviform, or conical.
Urethral suppositories are:
1. thin and pencil-shaped,
2. weighing approximately 4 g and
3. measuring about 140 mm when intended for males and
4. half the weight and length when intended for females.

1. Ingredients are melted and placed

in the suppository mold

2. Suppository mold is separated after it

was cool down.
3. Suppositories are removed form the


Syrups are concentrated, aqueous solutions of a sugar or sugar

Non-medicated syrups are sweet, pleasant-tasting vehicles for
medicinal substances to be added later, either in the
extemporaneous compounding of prescriptions or in the
preparation of a standard formula for a medicated syrup.
Other no-medicated ingredients in syrups are:


3. ;
4. to prevent microbial growth.

Syrups are administered orally for the therapeutic value of the

medicinal agent(s).


Tablets are solid dosage forms containing one or more

medicinal substances with or without added pharmaceutical
Among the pharmaceutical agents used are diluents,
disintegrants, colorants, binders, and coatings.
Tablets may be coated for:

1. ;
2. ;
3. ;
4. .

Most tablets are manufactured on the industrial scale by

compression, using highly sophisticated machinery.


Punches and dies of various shapes and sizes enable the

preparation of a wide variety of tablets of distinctive
shapes, sizes, and surface markings.
Kinds of tablets:
Tablets intended to be swallowed whole;
Chewable tablets (produce a pleasant taste and feel with
Sublingual tablets are intended to be dissolved in the mouth or
under the tongue;
Effervescent tablets are intended to be dissolved in water before

Tablets are formulated to contain a specific quantity of

drug substance.
To enable flexibility in dosing, manufacturers commonly
make available various tablet or capsule strengths of a
given medication.
As required, a tablet may also be broken in half (many
tablets are "scored" or grooved for this purpose),
More than a single tablet may be taken as a prescribed dose
If you have to break a scored tablet, here is a
simple procedure that should work for any
tablet that has a somewhat rounded surface:
1. Place the tablet on a flat hard surface.
2. Place one thumb on each side of the score.
3. Press down with both thumbs.

Tinctures are alcoholic or hydroalcoholic solutions of either pure
chemical substances or of plant extractions.
Most chemical tinctures are applied topically (e.g., Iodine
Plant extractions are used for their content of active
Some extractions are administered as standardized preparations
(e.g., Tincture).
Fluidextracts are liquid preparations of plant extractives, each
milliliter containing the active constituents from 1 g of the
standard drug that it represents.
Extracts are highly concentrated powdered or pilular (ointmentlike) extractives of plant constituents prepared by the reduction
of fluidextracts through evaporation.