Elixirs: Introduction, Types Pharmaceutics Notes PDF, Books, Downloads
Introduction to Elixirs
They are clear, sweetened hydroalcoholic solutions intended for oral use and are usually flavored to enhance their palatability. Non-medicated elixirs are employed as vehicles and medicated are used for the therapeutic effect of medicinal substances. Compared with syrup, elixirs are usually less sweet and less viscous. They have a low proportion of sugar and consequently are less effective than syrups in masking the taste of medicinal substances. However, because of their hydroalcoholic character, they are better than aqueous sugar and maintain both water-soluble and alcohol-soluble components in the solution. Also because of their stable characteristic and the cause of preparation they are preferred as syrup.
The proportion of alcohol varies widely since different individual components have different water and alcohol solubility characters. Each elixir requires a specific blend of alcohol and water to be maintained as the component in the solution. For elixirs with agents with poor water solubility, the amount of alcohol required is greater than for elixirs prepared from components having good water solubility. Other solvents like glycerin and propylene glycol are frequently used as adjuncts to solvents.
Although many elixirs are sweetened with sucrose or with sucrose syrup sorbitol, glycerine and one or more artificial sweeteners can also be used. Elixirs with a huge alcoholic component usually use an artificial sweetener, such as saccharin, which is required in small amounts than sucrose which is only slightly soluble in alcohol and is required in greater quantities.
All elixirs have flavourants to increase their palatability and coloring agents to enhance their appearance. Elixirs with more than 10-20% alcohol are usually self-preserving and do not require the addition of antimicrobial agents.
Types of Elixirs
- Non-medicated elixirs: They are useful in the extemporaneous filling of prescriptions involving
- The addition of a therapeutic agent to a pleasant vehicle and
- Dilution of an already existent elixir.
- Medicated elixir: They are employed for the therapeutic benefit of the medicated agent. They are formulated so that a patient receives the usual adult dose of the drug in a convenient measure as an elixir. For most elixir one or two spoonfuls provides the usual adult dose of a drug.
The advantage of elixir over their counterpart drug in the solid dosage form is the flexibility and ease of dosage administration for patients having difficulty swallowing solid forms.
Because of their content of alcohol, they should be stored in light-resistant containers and protected from excess heat.
a) Piperazine citrate elixir
b) Paracetamol pediatric elixir
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