May 30, 2024

Calculations and methods of adjusting isotonicity

Calculations and methods of adjusting isotonicity

There are several methods for adjusting isotonicity in pharmaceutical formulations, including:

  1. Addition of salts: The most common method for adjusting isotonicity is by adding salts, such as sodium chloride or potassium chloride, to the formulation. The concentration of salts is adjusted to achieve an osmolality close to that of human plasma, which is approximately 280-300 mOsm/kg.
  2. Addition of non-ionic solutes: Another method for adjusting isotonicity is by adding non-ionic solutes, such as mannitol or dextrose, to the formulation. These solutes do not affect the ionic strength of the solution but can increase its osmolality and thus help to achieve isotonicity.
  3. Dilution: In some cases, it may be necessary to dilute the formulation with water or saline to achieve isotonicity. This method is commonly used for concentrated solutions or suspensions that need to be administered intravenously.
  4. pH adjustment: pH can also affect isotonicity, as changes in pH can alter the dissociation of salts and other solutes in the formulation. Therefore, adjusting the pH of the formulation can be another method for achieving isotonicity.

It is important to note that the method used for adjusting isotonicity will depend on the specific formulation and the intended route of administration. In all cases, it is essential to carefully control the osmolality and tonicity of the formulation to ensure its safety and efficacy.

Calculations in adjusting isotonicity

To calculate the amount of a salt needed to adjust the isotonicity of a solution, the following formula can be used:

Amount of salt (in grams) = ((desired osmolality – current osmolality) / 1000) x solution volume (in milliliters) x salt molecular weight


  • Desired osmolality is the target osmolality of the solution, typically 280-300 mOsm/kg for an isotonic solution
  • Current osmolality is the osmolality of the solution before adjustment
  • Solution volume is the volume of the solution that needs to be adjusted
  • Salt molecular weight is the molecular weight of the salt being added

For example, if you have a 100 mL solution with a current osmolality of 200 mOsm/kg and you want to adjust it to an osmolality of 300 mOsm/kg by adding sodium chloride (NaCl), the calculation would be as follows:

Amount of NaCl (in grams) = ((300 – 200) / 1000) x 100 x 58.44 = 0.5822 g

So, you would need to add 0.5822 grams of NaCl to the solution to achieve the desired isotonicity.

It is important to note that this calculation assumes that the added salt will completely dissolve in the solution and will not react with any other components in the formulation. In practice, the actual amount of salt needed may differ depending on the specific formulation and the conditions of the experiment. Therefore, it is always important to perform appropriate validation and quality control tests to ensure the safety and efficacy of the final product.

First Year B Pharm Notes, Syllabus, Books, PDF Subjectwise/Topicwise

F Y B Pharm Sem-IS Y B Pharm Sem-II
BP101T Human Anatomy and Physiology I TheoryBP201T Human Anatomy and Physiology II – Theory
BP102T Pharmaceutical Analysis I TheoryBP202T Pharmaceutical Organic Chemistry I Theory
BP103T Pharmaceutics I TheoryBP203T Biochemistry – Theory
BP104T Pharmaceutical Inorganic Chemistry TheoryBP204T Pathophysiology – Theory
BP105T Communication skills TheoryBP205T Computer Applications in Pharmacy Theory
BP106RBT Remedial BiologyBP206T Environmental sciences – Theory
BP106RMT Remedial Mathematics TheoryBP207P Human Anatomy and Physiology II Practical
BP107P Human Anatomy and Physiology PracticalBP208P Pharmaceutical Organic Chemistry I Practical
BP108P Pharmaceutical Analysis I PracticalBP209P Biochemistry Practical
BP109P Pharmaceutics I PracticalBP210P Computer Applications in Pharmacy Practical
BP110P Pharmaceutical Inorganic Chemistry Practical
BP111P Communication skills Practical
BP112RBP Remedial Biology Practical

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