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Ointments, Creams, and Gels

Topicals preparations applied to the skin either for their physical effects or for the specific
effect of a medicinal agent.
Protectants
Lubricants
Emollients
Drying agents
Astringents
Transdermals designed to support the passage of drug substances from the surface of
the skin,through its various layers, and even into the systemic circulation.
Functions of Dermatologicals
1. Protect injured areas from the environment
2. Provide skin hydration (emollient)
3. Vehicle for medical transport
Drug Penetration is dependent upon:
Amount of pressure and vigor of rubbing
Surface area covered
Condition of the skin
Base used
Occlusive dressings used
Application Areas for Dermatologicals
LOTIONS Intertriginous areas
CREAMS moist, weeping lesions
OINTMENTS Dry, scaly lesions

Ointments semisolid preparations intended for external application to the skin or
mucous membranes.
Easily spread
Modifying formulation controls their plastic viscosity
2 types:
1. Medicated with active ingredient
2. Non-medicated ointment bases




OINTMENT BASES

1. Oleaginous bases aka hydrocarbon bases.
Have emollient effect after application
Water insoluble
Non-washable
Cannot absorb water
Oily, occlusive, lack cosmetic appeal
Examples:
a. Petrolatum, USP good base for insoluble ingredients
b. White petrolatum, USP yellow wax is decolorized (bleached and purified yellow wax)
c. Yellow Ointment, USP aka simple ointment;
- yellow wax- purified wax obtained from honeycomb of the
bee Apis mellifera
d. Lanolin derivatives
e. Synthetic esters constituents of oleaginous
- glyceryl monostearate, butyl stearate, isopropyl lanolate , stearyl
alcohol
2. Absorption Bases
Water insoluble
Non-washable
Can absorb water
Anhydrous
Oily, occlusive, lacks cosmetic appeal
Examples:
a. Hydrophilic petrolatum w/o emulsifier
b. Aquaphor has the capacity to absorb up to 3x its weight in water
c. Aquabase
d. Wool fat (anhydrous lanolin) from wool of sheep (Ovis aries)
- Higher percentage of cholesterol
- Ability to absorb twice its weight



3. Water-Removable bases o/w emulsions; aka emulsion bases.
2 types:
a. Water in oil
water insoluble
non-washable
can absorb water
contains water
Examples:
cold cream (petrolatum rose water ointment)
Lanolin (hydrous wool fat)
Hydrophilic ointment
Vanishing creams
b. Oil in water
water insoluble
water washable
can absorb water
contains water
Examples:
Hydrophilic ointment
Velvachol
Unibase
Acid mantle
Dermabase
Vanicream
Humectants hydrating agent
Glycerin
Propylene glycol
Sorbitol 70%
4. Water Soluble bases
Water soluble
Water washable
Can absorb water
Anhydrous or hydrous
All water soluble, no oil phase
Examples: polyethylene glycol ointment
Veegum
Methods of Preparation:
1. Fusion heating all ingredients. Let cool and congeal.
2. Mechanical incorporation - performed by trituration in a mortar or on a slab with
spatula is a process knwon as levigation.
COMPEDIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR OINTMENTS:
1. Microbial content test for absence of Staphyloccocus aureus and Pseudomonas
aeruginosa.
Addition of preservatives such as methyparaben, propylparaben,phenols, benzoic acid,
sorbic acid, and quarternary ammonium salts

2. Minimum fill to ensure proper contents compared with labeled amount.
- 30% max (overage)
- 10% minimum
3. Packaging, storing, and labeling
Packaging jar: glass, plastics ( DO NOT POUR WHILE HOT)
- dispensing jars: plastic
- tubes: plasitc, tin, aluminum
Labeling protect w/ tape
- Dual labels
Storage store in a cool place
4. Additional standards
Sterility and metal particles content for ophthalmic ointment
SELECTION OF APPROPRIATE BASE:
Topical or percutaneous drug absorption
Release rate
Occlusion
Stability of the drug
Effect of drug on ointment base
Easy removable
Characteristics of surface for application
Creams containing one or more mediciinal agents dissolved or dispersed in either w/o
or water- washable base.
Examples: vanishing creams; easily spread, easy removed
Gels dispersions of small or large molecules in n aqueousliquid vehicle rendered
jellylike by the addition of a gelling agent. AKA jellies.
Composition of gels:
Gelling agent
Water
Cosolvents
Preservatives
Stabilizers
Kinds of Gels:
1. Hydrogels silica, bentonite, pection, sodium alginate, methycellulose, alumina
2. organic gels contain an organic liquid (e.g. plastibase)
3. carbomer gels aqueous dipersion neutralized with Na(OH) and triethanolamie
e.g methycellulose, starch glycerite, Aluminum hydroxide gel
Examples of gellting agent:
Synthetic marcromolecules carboxymethylcellulose, hydroxypropyl
methycellulose, natural gums (tragacanth)
Single-phase gel which the marcomolecules are uniformly distributed throughout a liquid with
no apparent boundaries between dispersed macromolecules ad the liquid.
Two phase system Magma
Example: Milk of Magnesia (w/ ppt of Mg(OH) 2)
Thixotrope where gels thicken upon standing. Must be shaken to liquey the gel and enable
pouring.

MISCELLANEOUS SEMISOLID PREPARATIONS : PASTES, PLASTERS, AND
GLYCERITES
1. PASTES - intended for application to the skin. By mechanical or fusion.
Less penetrating!
Not for hairy parts of the body
2. PLASTERS semisolid adhesive masses spread on a bacing of paper, gabric, moleskin, or
plastic. Ex. Chili plaster
3. GLYCEROGELATINS plastic masses containing gelatin (15%), glycerin (40%), water
(35%), and medicinal substance.
4. CATAPLASM aka poultice. Example is gumamela poultice for boils
5. DRESSING Petrolatum gauze USP
6. CEMENTS dental preparation to cover tissues of gums.
Example: Zinc oxide cement, eugeno or thymol cement