Elixirs: Hydro-alcoholic liquid preparation
- Elixirs are clear, pleasantly flavored, sweetened hydroalcoholic (water+alcohol-5 to 40%) liquids intended for oral use.
- The main ingredients in elixirs are ethanol/alcohol and water but glycerin, sorbitol, propylene glycol, flavoring agents, preservatives, and syrups are often used in the preparation of the Elixirs.
- Non medicated elixirs are used as flavors & vehicles to increase the solubility of the drug substances. E.g Aromatic Elixir.
- Elixirs containing alcohol are usually self-preserving and do not require the addition of antimicrobial agents for preservation.
- Alcohols precipitate tragacanth, acacia, agar, and inorganic salts from aqueous solutions. Therefore, such substances should either be absent from the aqueous phase or present in such low concentrations so as not to promote precipitation on standing.
- Examples of some commonly used elixirs include dexamethasone elixir USP, phenobarbital elixir, pentobarbital elixir USP, diphenhydramine HCl elixir, and digoxin elixir.
- Elixirs are usually less sweet and less viscous because they contain a lower proportion of sugar and consequently are less effective than syrups in masking the taste of medicinal substances.
- Linctuses are viscous oral preparation generally prescribed for the relief of Cough.
- Contains a high concentration of syrup and other ingredients that are demulcent, sedative & expectorant.
- Taken with small doses, sipped & swallowed slowly without diluting in order to maximize & prolonged effect of medicaments.