Dosage forms: introduction to pharmaceuticals

This article is a sufficient beginning to knowВ everythingВ about pharmaceuticals. If you are just starting to know about this amazing field, this is a good guide for you.

Drug is the substance used to cure, treat, restore the health state, or optimize a malfunction. Fundamentally, this substance is brought from plants or animals. Rarely, the drug is administered in its primary or crude form. In other words, the drug can be natural, synthetic, or semi-synthetic. The drug’s crude form passes by different processes to give rise to what is called dosage forms.

During manufacturing, the crude drug is called a pharmaceuticalВ preparation.В Dosage form is the crude drug in its final form after addingВ particular characteristics to it.В The drug manufacture includes addition of additives;В pharmaceutical ingredients.

The additives are mainly non-medicinal substancesВ used for many purposes.В TheyВ are added to enhance the drug form, quality, and efficacy.В 

They are used:

As solubilizing agents

ForВ dissolvingВ the drug in a solvent as in the formation of solutions

ForВ dilution

To decrease or optimize concentration

В As suspending agents

To suspend solid particles in a solution and form a suspension

As emulsifying agentsВ 

To dissolve water in oil or oil in water and produce an emulsion

As thickenersВ 

To harden/thicken creams and ointments

As stabilizers

To maintain the stability of a pharmaceutical preparation

As preservatives

To protect theВ pharmaceuticalВ preparations from contamination by microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi

AsВ coloringВ agents

To give the drug a perfect appearance and attractiveness.

As flavoringВ agents

To hide a bad taste like the bitter taste.В Moreover, flavoring agents are used to addВ a reasonably goodВ taste to the drug and increase its palatability.

Dosage forms Dosage forms: introduction to pharmaceuticals

For any drug to give its optimal and desired action, it should firstly reach the required site which is known as the target site. Once the drug reaches this target site, it starts to exert its action via a specific actionВ mechanism of its own.

Reaching the site of action needs the drug to be in the most convenient form, so as to ensure the mission is accomplished. This mission is greatly influenced by the dosage form of a drug/medication.В To sum this up, dosage forms are the means through which drug molecules reach the target site inside the body to give their actions.

There are plenty of dosage forms in markets, but each is used according to a definite reason. Each one of them has its own characteristics upon which the efficacy of medication depends. Many factors specify that this dosage form is better than that. Plus, the severity of disease and the response of body towards a medication account too. Choosing the optimum dosage form relies on the age of patient and some other factors.

From the drug manufacture processes, we can conclude the importance of dosage forms. They are of great necessity to ensure:

  • Optimal action of the drug.
  • Accurate dose is administered.
  • Protection from gastric juice.
  • The drug stability against atmospheric conditions that may lead to its oxidation or destruction
  • A long shelf life for the drug
  • The patient won’t refuse it for a reason or another
  • Masking unpalatable taste or unpleasant odor.
  • Sustained or controlled release of the medication.

Dosage forms are classified according to

a) Route of administration

The way by which the drug enters the body. In this classification, dosage forms are various and dividedВ as

Oral (per os): taken via mouth

A)В Drug is swallowed and then absorbedВ to bloodВ through GIT and give a systemic action

B)В Drug is swallowed to give a certain effect in the GIT

C)В For local effect in mouth as lozenges

D) Drug is inhaled and then reaches the lung like bronchodilators (respiration enhancers)

в–  Check out:В Oral dosage forms advantages, disadvantages, and classification

Parenteral: taken by injection

A) Intramuscular (I.M.): in muscle

B) Intravenous (I.V.): in vein

C) Intraarterial: in artery

D) Intracardiac: in the heart

E) Intraperitoneal: in the peritoneal membrane in the abdomen

F) Intrathecal/Intraspinal: in the spine

G) Subcutaneous: under the skin

H) Intracutaneous/Intradermal: inside the skin

I) Intraarticular: in the joint

J) Intrasynovial: in the synovial fluid of the jointВ 

Topical (epicutaneous): on skin surface

Intraocular (ophthalmic): in the eye

Intranasal: in the nose

Aural (otic): in the ear

Rectal, urethral, and vaginal

b) Physical form

This is another classification of dosage forms. It is the final state of drug such as solid, semisolid, and liquid dosage forms.

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