Manufacture of pharmaceutical suspensions

Suspensions are an important class of pharmaceutical dosage forms. Advantages of suspension dosage forms include effective delivery/administration of insoluble or poorly soluble drugs; Masking of unpleasant or bitter taste of drugs and some ingredients; Easy to swallow for young or elderly patients; offer resistance to drug degradation due to hydrolysis, oxidation or microbial activity; and efficient intramuscular depot therapy.

During suspension formulation, the main goal of the formulation scientist is to control the separation process and thus optimize the stability of the formulation. This is because, during storage, the internal (drug) phase will separate. A pharmaceutical suspension is considered stable if, after agitation (shaking), the drug particles remain homogeneously dispersed for a sufficient time to ensure that a proper dose is removed for administration to the patient.

Several steps are involved in the preparation of pharmaceutical suspensions. The first step is to get particles of the right size, usually in the micrometer range.

Pharmaceutical suspensions are usually prepared by direct addition/dispersion method or precipitation method. Suspensions can also be formulated using controlled flocculation methods.

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