Drug Dosage Forms: Its Importance and Differences
There are different dosage forms available to deliver the drug in the system namely oral solutions, suspensions, emulsions, capsule, tablets, ointments, suppositories, powders and other miscellaneous solutions. Appropriate dosage form is carefully chosen in preparing drug in order to attain stable drug product prior to administration.
Liquid dosage forms are preferable form for some drugs like antacids. An oral solution is categorized as liquid preparation for oral administration. This can be in a form that can be directly given to patient such as syrup and elixir. Some are in powdered form that needs to be reconstituted before being used like antibiotic amoxicillin. Syrups and elixirs are the most commonly prescribed oral drug solutions. There are other forms that are not widely use here and there such as galenicals, tinctures, fluidextracts, spirits, and aromatic water. Drugs in solution form is the recommended preparation for infants, children and sometimes for adults who have difficulty in swallowing.
Suspension is the chosen dosage form for drug that needs to sustain effect, to have greater stability, or to mask unpleasant taste. There are numbers of antibiotics and antiviral drugs in suspension form that are more palatable than in solution form. This is also the alternative form when the solution form is not available. This preparation is in need of drug dissolution before it is being absorbed in the system. Example of this is ciprofloxacin oral suspension
Another drug form is emulsion. Example of this is Durezol (difuprednate) Ophthalmic Emulsion 0.05%. Drug is preferred in emulsion form to increase its stability and solubility. Another reason why emulsion a chosen form of drug because it helps in prolonging drug action. It also makes the drug more palatable and appealing such as in topical preparations.
When it comes to administering drugs in systemic effect through oral route, solid dosage forms is more advantageous. This form provides accurate dosage, no needed preservation and no problem when it comes to taste. Practically, it is easy to ship and handle. It is also more stable with longer expiration date. Solid dosage forms can be capsules and tablets. Capsule is a solid form in which the active components are enclosed within a soft or hard gelatine capsule. Active ingredients can be a power, granules or beads. Tablets are most commonly used solid dosage form which shows more benefits than other solid forms. In manufacturers’ point of view, this is more profitable in terms of manufacturing, packaging and shipping. Tablets are easy to identify and swallow. There are different types of tablet like the sugar coated, film coated, enteric-coated, chewable tablet, and air suspension-coated tablet.
Semi-solid dosage forms use bases to deliver its inert composition. Ointments are classified as semi-solid dosage form normally used topically or externally. Suppositories are also this form which is delivered to system by inserting in different body cavities. There are three types of suppositories: rectal suppositories (Phenergan®, CANASA®, INDOCIN®), urethral suppositories, and vaginal suppositories (Cleocin® Vaginal Ovules , Prostin E2®)
Always read the labels before using any medication. If you have any confusion on how to administer the drug, ask the doctor who prescribed the drug to you or a pharmacist where you bought the medicine.
United State Pharmacopeia (USP) 29/National Formulary (NF) 24
Comprehensive Pharmacy Review by Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins