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SUPPOSITORIES
Suppositories
Definition:
Suppositories are solid dosage forms intended for
insertion into body orifices (rectum, vagina, urethra)
where they melt, soften, or dissolve and exert a local
or systemic effect.
Local action:
Rectal suppositories intended for localized action are
most frequently used to relieve constipation or pain,
irritation, itching, and inflammation associated with
hemorrhoids.
Suppositories (cont.):
Systemic action: (e.g. Antiasthmatic, antirheumatic &
analgesic drugs).
The suppository may be ideally used in:
1- Babies or old people who cannot swallow oral
medication.
2- Post operative people who cannot be administered oral
medication.
3- People suffering from severe nausea or vomiting.
4- Drugs inactivated by the pH or enzymatic activity of the
stomach or intestine.
5- Drugs irritating to the stomach.
6- Drugs destroyed by portal circulation.
Suppositories (cont.):
 The modern rectal suppository is a conical or torpedo
shaped item which is about 2 - 3 centimeters in length.
Suppositories for adults weigh 2 grams each and
children suppositories weigh 1 gram each.
 Urethral suppositories for males weigh 4 grams each
and for females they weigh 2 grams each.
 Vaginal suppositories, also called pessaries, are usually
globular (ball), oviform or cone-shaped and weigh about
5 grams.
Suppositories (cont.):
Anatomy and of the rectum:
- The rectum is part of the colon,
forming the last 15 – 20 cm of the GI tract.
- The rectum can be considered as a hollow
organ with a relatively flat wall surface, without
villi.
- It contains only 2 – 3 ml of inert mucous fluid
with pH of 7.5 .
ABSORPTION OF DRUGS
FROM THE RECTUM
3 separate veins
Lower
haemorroidal vein
Middle
haemorroidal vein
Upper
haemorroidal vein
drain directly into the general
circulation
Drains into the portal vein,
which flows to the liver
Suppositories (cont.):
Physiological factors affecting rectal absorption:
1- Quantity of fluid available:
The quantity of fluid available for drug dissolution is
very small (approximately 3 ml). Thus the dissolution
of slightly soluble substances is the slowest step in
the absorptive process.
2- The properties of rectal fluid:
The rectal fluid is neutral in pH (7 – 8) and has no
buffer capacity.
Physiological factors affecting rectal
absorption(Cont.):
3- Contents of the rectum:
When systemic effects are desired, greater absorption
may be expected from an empty rectum as the drug
will be in good contact with the absorbing surface of
the rectum.
4- Circulation route:
The lower hemorrhoidal veins surrounding the colon
receive the absorbed drug and initiate its circulation
throughout the body, bypassing the liver. Lymphatic
circulation also assists in the absorption.
Suppositories (cont.):
Physicochemical factors of the drug and suppository base
affecting rectal absorption:
1- Drug solubility in vehicle:
- The rate at which a drug is released from a suppository and
absorbed by the rectal mucous membrane is directly related to
its solubility in the vehicle or, in other words, to the partition
coefficient of the drug between the vehicle and the rectal
liquids.
- When drugs are highly soluble in the vehicle the
tendency to leave the vehicle will be small and so the release
rate into the rectal fluid will be low.
Physicochemical factors of the drug and
suppository base affecting rectal absorption
(Cont.):
Drug solubility and suppository formulation
Solubility in Choice of base
Fat Water
low high Fatty base
high low Aqueous base
low low Indeterminate
Physicochemical factors of the drug and
suppository base affecting rectal absorption
(Cont.):
2- Particle Size:
- For drugs present in a suppository in the undissolved
state, the size of the drug particle will influence its
rate of dissolution and its availability for absorption.
- The smaller the particle size the more readily
the dissolution of the particle the greater
chance for rapid absorption.
Physicochemical factors of the drug and
suppository base affecting rectal absorption
(Cont.):
3- Nature of the base:
- The base must be capable of melting, softening, or dissolving to
release its drug components for absorption.
- If the base interacts with the drug inhibiting its release
drug absorption will be impaired or even prevented.
- Also, if the base is irritating to the mucous membranes of the
rectum it may initiate a colonic response and a bowel
movement incomplete drug release and absorption.
Physicochemical factors of the drug and
suppository base affecting rectal absorption
(Cont.):
4- Spreading Capacity:
- The rapidity and intensity of the therapeutic effects of
suppositories are related to the surface area of the
rectal mucous membrane covered by the melted
base : drug mixture (the spreading capacity of the
suppositories). This spreading capacity may be
related to the presence of surfactants in the base.
Suppositories (cont.):
Suppository bases:
The properties of an ideal suppository base:
1- Melts at body temperature or dissolves in body fluids.
2- Non-toxic and non-irritant.
3- Compatible with any medicament.
4- Releases any medicament readily.
5- Easily moulded and removed from the mould.
6- Stable to heating above the melting point.
7- Easy to handle.
8- Stable on storage.
Suppository bases (Cont.):
Suppository bases are classified according to their
physical characteristics into:
I Fatty bases: designed to melt at body temperature.
1- Theobroma oil (Cocoa butter)
It is a yellowish-white solid with an odour of chocolate
and is a mixture of glyceryl esters of different
unsaturated fatty acids.
** Advantages:
a- A melting range of 30 - 36°C (solid at room
temperature but melts in the body).
b- Readily melted on warming, rapid setting on cooling.
c- Miscible with many ingredients.
d- Non-irritating.
Suppository bases (Cont.):
** Disadvantages:
a- Polymorphism:
- When melted and cooled it solidifies in different
crystalline forms, depending on the temperature of
melting, rate of cooling and the size of the mass.
- If melted at not more than 36°C and slowly cooled
it forms stable beta crystals with normal melting point.
- If over-heated then cooled it produce unstable
gamma crystals which melt at about 15°C or alpha
crystals melting at 20°C.
Suppository bases (Cont.):
- These unstable forms return to the stable condition
after several days.
- Cocoa butter must be slowly melted over a warm
water bath to avoid the formation of the unstable
crystalline form.
b- Adherence to the mould:
- Cocoa butter does not contract sufficiently on cooling
to loosen the suppositories in the mould.
- Sticking may be overcome by adequate lubrication.
Suppository bases (Cont.):
c- Softening point too low for hot climates.
d- Melting point reduced by soluble ingredients:
- Phenol and chloral hydrate have a tendency to lower
the melting point of cocoa butter.
- So, solidifying agents like beeswax (4%) may be
incorporated to compensate for the softening effect
of the added substance.
e- Rancidity on storage:
Due to the oxidation of unsaturated glycerides.
Suppository bases (Cont.):
f- Poor water-absorbing ability:
Improved by the addition of emulsifying agents.
g- Leakage from the body:
Sometimes the melted base escapes from the rectum
or vagina, so, it is rarely used as a pessary base.
h- Expensive
Suppository bases (Cont.):
2- Synthetic hard fat:
- For example: Suppocire, witepsol.
** Advantages:
a- Their solidifying points are unaffected by overheating.
b- They have good resistance to oxidation because of the lower
content of unsaturated fatty acids.
c- The difference between melting and setting points is small.
Hence they set quickly, the risk of sedimentation of suspended
ingredients is low.
d- They are marketed in a series of grades with different melting
point ranges, which can be chosen to suit particular products
and climatic condition.
Suppository bases (Cont.):
e- They contain a proportion of w/o emulsifying agents,
and therefore, their water-absorbing capacities are
good.
f- No mould lubricant is necessary because they
contract significantly on cooling.
** Disadvantages:
a- Brittle if cooled rapidly, avoid refrigeration during
preparation.
b- The melted fats are less viscous than theobroma oil.
As a result greater risk of drug particles to
sediment during preparation lack of uniform
drug distribution give localized irritancy.
Suppository bases (Cont.):
II Water-soluble and water-miscible bases:
1- Glycero-gelatin:
-The commonest is Glycerol Suppositories Base B.P., which has 14% w/w
gelatin, and 70% w/w glycerol & water Q.S. to 100%. .
- The glycerol-gelatin base U.S.P. consisted of 20% w/w gelatin, and 70% w/w
glycerol & water Q.S. to 100%.
Suppository bases (Cont.):
** Disadvantages:
a- A physiological effect:
osmosis occurs during dissolving in the mucous secretions of the
rectum, producing a laxative effect.
b- Can cause rectal irritation due to small amount of liquid present.
c- Unpredictable solution time.
d- Hygroscopic:
So, they should be packaged in tight containers and also have
dehydrating effects on the rectal and vaginal mucosa leading to
irritation.
e- Microbial contamination likely.
f- Long preparation time.
g- Lubrication of the mould is essential.
Suppository bases (Cont.):
2- Macrogols (polyethylene glycols):
- Polyethylene glycols are polymers of ethylene oxide and water,
prepared to various chain lengths, molecular weights, and
physical states.
- The numerical designations refer to the average molecular
weights of each of the polymers.
- Polyethylene glycols (PEGs) having average molecular weights of
300, 400, and 600 are clear, colorless liquids, while those with
molecular weights of 600-1000 are semisolids.
- Those having average molecular weights of greater than 1000 are
wax-like, white solids with the hardness increasing with an
increase in the molecular weight.
Suppository bases (Cont.):
 These polyethylene glycols can be blended together to
produce suppository bases with varying: melting
points, dissolution rates and physical characteristics.
 Drug release depends on the base dissolving rather
than melting.
 The melting point is often around 50°C.
 Higher proportions of high molecular weight polymers
produce preparations which release the drug slowly
and are also brittle.
 Less brittle products which release the drug more
readily can be prepared by mixing high polymers with
medium and low polymers.
Suppository bases (Cont.):
** Advantages:
a- No laxative effect.
b- Less microbial contamination.
c- The base contract on cooling and no lubricant is necessary.
d- Melting point above body temperature:
- Cool storage is not so critical.
- Suitable for hot climates
- The base dissolve in the body and disperse the medication
slowly, providing a sustained effect.
e- Produce high-viscosity solutions, so leakage is less likely.
f- Good solvent properties.
Suppository bases (Cont.):
** Disadvantages:
a- Hygroscopic:
- Thus may cause irritation to the mucosa. This can be overcome by
instructing the patient to dip the preparation in water prior to
insertion.
b- Poor bioavailability of medicaments:
The good solvent properties may result in retention of the drug in the
liquefied base with consequent reduction in therapeutic effect.
c- Incompatibilities:
Incompatibility with several drugs and packaging materials, e.g.
benzocaine, penicillin and plastic, may limit their use.
d- Brittleness: if cooled too quickly and also on storage.
Suppository bases (Cont.):
3- SOAP GLYCERIN:
 Obtained by : stearic acid + sodium carbonate in glycerin solution
stearin soap (i.e. curd soap, sodium stearate) (used as suppository
base).
Advantages over gelatin:
A- It makes glycerin sufficiently hard for suppositories.
B- It allows the incorporation of large quantity of glycerin up to 90-
95% of the mass.
C- Soap assists the laxative action of glycerin, whereas gelatin does
not.
Disadvantages:
 Very hygroscopic & require to be wrapped in waxed paper or pure
tin foil & protected from the atmosphere.
Suppositories (Cont.):
Preparation of suppositories:
Suppositories are prepared by four methods:
I Hand moulding:
-Hand molding is useful when we are preparing a small number of
suppositories:
***Steps:
1. The drug is made into a fine powder.
2. It is incorporated into the suppository base by kneading with it or
by trituration in a mortar.
3. The kneaded mass is rolled between fingers into rod shaped units.
4. The rods are cut into pieces and then one end is pointed.
Preparation of suppositories (Cont.):
II Compression molding:
1. The cold mass of the base containing the drug is compressed
into suppositories using a hand operated machine.
**Advantages:
1.It is a simple method.
2. It gives suppositories that are more elegant than hand
moulded suppositories.
3. In this method sedimentation of solids in the base is
prevented.
4. Suitable for heat labile medicaments.
**Disadvantages:
1.Air entrapment may take place.
2.This air may cause weight variation.
3.The drug and/or the base may be oxidized by this air.
Preparation of suppositories (Cont.):
III Pour moulding:
- Using a supp. mould which is made of metal or
plastic.Traditional metal moulds are in two halves
which are clamped together with a screw.
Steps:
1. The base is melted and precautions are taken not to
overheat it.
2. The drug is incorporated in it.
3. The molten liquid mass is poured into chilled
(lubricated if cocoa butter or glycrogelatin is the base)
molds.
4. After solidification the cone shaped suppositories are
Lubricants for use with suppository
bases:
- Lubricating the cavities of the mould is helpful in
producing elegant suppositories and free from surface
depression.
- The lubricant must be different in nature from the
suppository base, otherwise it will be become absorbed
and will fail to provide a buffer film between the mass &
the metal.
- The water soluble lubricant is useful for fatty bases while
the oily lubricant is useful for water soluble bases.
- The lubricant should be applied on a pledget of gauze or
with fairly stiff brush.
Lubricants for use with suppository
bases:
Lubricant
Base
Soap spirit
Theobroma oil
liquid paraffin
Glycerol-gelatin base
No lubricant required
Synthetic fats
No lubricant required
Macrogols
Preparation of suppositories (Cont.):
IV Automatic Moulding machine:
 All the operations in pour moulding are done by
automatic machines. Using this machine, up to about
10,000 suppositories per hour can be produced.
Suppositories (Cont.):
Packaging and storage:
-Suppositories are usually packed in tin or aluminium, paper or
plastic.
-Poorly packed suppositories may give rise to staining, breakage
or deformation by melting.
-Both cocoa butter and glycerinated gelatin suppositories stored
preferably in a refrigerator.
- Polyethylene glycol suppositories stored at usual room
temperature without the requirement of refrigeration.
Suppositories (Cont.):
Problems in formulation:
1- Water in suppositories:
Formulators do not like to use water for dissolving drugs in
suppositories for the following reasons :
a. Water causes oxidation of fats.
b. If the suppositories are manufactured at a high temperature, the
water evaporates, the drugs crystallize out.
c. Absorption of water soluble drugs is enhanced only if the base is
an oil – in – water emulsion with more than 50% of the water in the
external phase.
d. Drug excipient interactions are more likely to happen in the
presence of water.
e. Bacterial contamination may be a problem, so we may be forced
to add a preservative.
Problems in formulation (Cont.):
2- Hygroscopicity:
- Glycerogelatin suppositories lose moisture in dry climates and
absorb moisture in humid conditions.
- The hygroscopicity of polyethylene glycol bases depends on the
chain length of the molecule.
- As the molecular weight of these ethylene oxide polymers
increases
the hygroscopicity decreases
Problems in formulation (Cont.):
3- Drug-excipient interactions:
- Incompatibilities exist between polyethylene glycol base and
some drugs.
- Sodium barbital and salicylic acid crystallize out of polyethylene
glycol.
- High concentrations of salicylic acid soften polyethylene glycol
to an ointment like consistency.
- Penicillin G is stable in cocoa butter and other fatty bases. It
decomposes in polyethylene glycol bases.
Problems in formulation (Cont.):
4- Viscosity:
- When the base has low viscosity, sedimentation of the drug is a problem.
- 2% aluminium monostearate may be added to increase the viscosity of
the base.
- Cetyl and stearyl alcohols or stearic acid are added to improve the
consistency of suppositories.
5- Brittleness:
-Cocoa butter suppositories are elastic, not brittle.
- Synthetic fat bases are brittle.
- This problem can be overcome by keeping the temperature difference
between the melted base and the mold as small as possible.
- Materials that impart plasticity to a fat and make them less brittle are small
amounts of Tween 80, castor oil, glycerin or propylene glycol.
Problems in formulation (Cont.):
6-Density:
Density of the base, the drug, the volume of the mould
and whether the base is having the
property of volume contraction are all important. They
all determine the weight of the suppository.
7- Lubrication of moulds:
Some widely used lubricating agents are mineral oil,
aqueous solution of SLS, alcohol and tincture of green
soap. These are applied by wiping, brushing or spraying.
Problems in formulation (Cont.):
8- Volume contraction:
- On solidification the volume of the suppository decreases. The
mass of the suppository pulls away from the sides of the mould.
This contraction helps the
suppository to easily slip away from the mould, preventing the
need for a lubricating agent.
- Sometimes when the suppository mass is contracting, a hole
forms at the open end. This gives an inelegant appearance to
the suppository. Weight variation among suppositories is also
likely to occur.
- This contraction can be minimized by pouring the suppository
mass slightly above its congealing temperature
into a mould warmed to about the same temperature. Another
way to overcome this problem is to overfill the molds, and
scrape off the excess mass which contains the contraction hole.
Problems in formulation (Cont.):
9- Displacement value:
- The displacement value may be defined as , the
number of parts by weight of medicament that
displaces one part by weight of the base.
- The volume of suppositories from a particular mould
will be constant but the weight will vary because the
densities of the medicaments usually differ from the
density of the base, and hence the density of the
medicament will affect the amount of the base
required for each suppository.
Problems in formulation (Cont.):
10- Weight and volume control:
-Various factors influence the weight of the suppository, the volume of
the suppository and the amount of active ingredient in each suppository :
They are:
1. Concentration of the drug in the mass
2. Volume of the mould cavity
3. The specific gravity of the base
4. Volume variation between moulds
5. Weight variation between suppositories due to the inconsistencies in
the manufacturing process.
- The upper limit for the weight variation in suppositories is 5%.
Problems in formulation (Cont.):
11- Rancidity :
- The unsaturated fatty acids in the suppository bases
undergo auto oxidation and decompose into
aldehydes, ketones and acids. These products have
strong, unpleasant odours.
- The lower the content of unsaturated fatty acids in a
base, the higher is its resistance to rancidity.
Suppositories (Cont.):
Quality control of suppositories:
1- Appearance:
This includes odour, colour, surface condition and shape.
2- Weight Uniformity:
- Weigh 20 suppositories individually. w1, w2, w3….w20
- Weigh all the suppositories together = W.
- Calculate the average weight = W/20.
Limit: Not more than 2 suppositories differ from the average
weight by more than 5%, and no suppository differs
from the average weight by more than 10%.
Suppositories (Cont.):
3- Melting range test:
- Determines the time taken by an entire suppository to melt when it is
immersed in a constant temperature bath at 37°C.
-The experiment done by using the USP Tablet Disintegration Apparatus.
Procedure:
1-The suppository is completely immersed in the constant temperature water
bath, and the time for the entire suppository to melt or disperse in the
surrounding water is measured.
- The suppository is considered disintegrated when:
A- It is completely dissolved or
B- Dispersed into its component part.
C- Become soft “change in shape” with formation of core which is not
resistant to pressure with glass rod.
Quality control of suppositories (Cont.)
4- Liquefaction Time or Softening Time Test:
- In this test a U tube is partially immersed in a constant temperature
bath and is maintained at a temperature between 35 to 37°C.
There is a constriction in the tube in which the suppository is kept
and above the suppository, a glass rod is kept. The time taken for
the
glass rod to go through the suppository and reach the constriction
is known as the liquefaction time or softening time.
- Another apparatus is there for finding “softening time” which
mimics in vivo conditions. It uses a cellophane tube, and the
temperature is maintained by water circulation. Time taken for the
suppository to melt is noted.
Quality control of suppositories (Cont.)
5- Breaking Test (Hardness):
- The breaking test is designed as a method for measuring the
fragility or brittleness of suppository.
1-The suppository is placed in the instrument.
2- Add 600 g; leave it for one min. (use a stop watch).
3- If not broken, add 200 g every one min. until the
suppository is broken.
Calculations:
 The hardness of the suppository is calculated by
adding the weights together.
 But if the suppository is broken before the end
of the last min. the last weight is canceled.
-
Quality control of suppositories (Cont.)
6- Dissolution test:
- By using different types of apparatus such as wire
mesh basket, or dialysis tubing is used
to test for in vitro release from suppositories.
Quality control of suppositories (Cont.)
7- Stability testing:
-Cocoa butter suppositories on storage, “bloom”; i.e., they form a white
powdery deposit on the surface. This can be avoided by storing the
suppositories at uniform cool temperatures and by wrapping them in foils.
- Fat based suppositories harden on storage, i.e., there is an upward shift in
melting range due to slow crystallization to the more stable polymorphic forms
of the base.
- The softening time test and differential scanning calorimetry can be used as
stability indicating test methods.
- If we store the suppositories at an elevated temperature, just below its
melting range, immediately after manufacture, the aging process is speeded
up.

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SUPPOSITORIES.pdf

  • 2. Suppositories Definition: Suppositories are solid dosage forms intended for insertion into body orifices (rectum, vagina, urethra) where they melt, soften, or dissolve and exert a local or systemic effect. Local action: Rectal suppositories intended for localized action are most frequently used to relieve constipation or pain, irritation, itching, and inflammation associated with hemorrhoids.
  • 3. Suppositories (cont.): Systemic action: (e.g. Antiasthmatic, antirheumatic & analgesic drugs). The suppository may be ideally used in: 1- Babies or old people who cannot swallow oral medication. 2- Post operative people who cannot be administered oral medication. 3- People suffering from severe nausea or vomiting. 4- Drugs inactivated by the pH or enzymatic activity of the stomach or intestine. 5- Drugs irritating to the stomach. 6- Drugs destroyed by portal circulation.
  • 4. Suppositories (cont.):  The modern rectal suppository is a conical or torpedo shaped item which is about 2 - 3 centimeters in length. Suppositories for adults weigh 2 grams each and children suppositories weigh 1 gram each.  Urethral suppositories for males weigh 4 grams each and for females they weigh 2 grams each.  Vaginal suppositories, also called pessaries, are usually globular (ball), oviform or cone-shaped and weigh about 5 grams.
  • 5. Suppositories (cont.): Anatomy and of the rectum: - The rectum is part of the colon, forming the last 15 – 20 cm of the GI tract. - The rectum can be considered as a hollow organ with a relatively flat wall surface, without villi. - It contains only 2 – 3 ml of inert mucous fluid with pH of 7.5 .
  • 6. ABSORPTION OF DRUGS FROM THE RECTUM 3 separate veins Lower haemorroidal vein Middle haemorroidal vein Upper haemorroidal vein drain directly into the general circulation Drains into the portal vein, which flows to the liver
  • 7. Suppositories (cont.): Physiological factors affecting rectal absorption: 1- Quantity of fluid available: The quantity of fluid available for drug dissolution is very small (approximately 3 ml). Thus the dissolution of slightly soluble substances is the slowest step in the absorptive process. 2- The properties of rectal fluid: The rectal fluid is neutral in pH (7 – 8) and has no buffer capacity.
  • 8. Physiological factors affecting rectal absorption(Cont.): 3- Contents of the rectum: When systemic effects are desired, greater absorption may be expected from an empty rectum as the drug will be in good contact with the absorbing surface of the rectum. 4- Circulation route: The lower hemorrhoidal veins surrounding the colon receive the absorbed drug and initiate its circulation throughout the body, bypassing the liver. Lymphatic circulation also assists in the absorption.
  • 9. Suppositories (cont.): Physicochemical factors of the drug and suppository base affecting rectal absorption: 1- Drug solubility in vehicle: - The rate at which a drug is released from a suppository and absorbed by the rectal mucous membrane is directly related to its solubility in the vehicle or, in other words, to the partition coefficient of the drug between the vehicle and the rectal liquids. - When drugs are highly soluble in the vehicle the tendency to leave the vehicle will be small and so the release rate into the rectal fluid will be low.
  • 10. Physicochemical factors of the drug and suppository base affecting rectal absorption (Cont.): Drug solubility and suppository formulation Solubility in Choice of base Fat Water low high Fatty base high low Aqueous base low low Indeterminate
  • 11. Physicochemical factors of the drug and suppository base affecting rectal absorption (Cont.): 2- Particle Size: - For drugs present in a suppository in the undissolved state, the size of the drug particle will influence its rate of dissolution and its availability for absorption. - The smaller the particle size the more readily the dissolution of the particle the greater chance for rapid absorption.
  • 12. Physicochemical factors of the drug and suppository base affecting rectal absorption (Cont.): 3- Nature of the base: - The base must be capable of melting, softening, or dissolving to release its drug components for absorption. - If the base interacts with the drug inhibiting its release drug absorption will be impaired or even prevented. - Also, if the base is irritating to the mucous membranes of the rectum it may initiate a colonic response and a bowel movement incomplete drug release and absorption.
  • 13. Physicochemical factors of the drug and suppository base affecting rectal absorption (Cont.): 4- Spreading Capacity: - The rapidity and intensity of the therapeutic effects of suppositories are related to the surface area of the rectal mucous membrane covered by the melted base : drug mixture (the spreading capacity of the suppositories). This spreading capacity may be related to the presence of surfactants in the base.
  • 14. Suppositories (cont.): Suppository bases: The properties of an ideal suppository base: 1- Melts at body temperature or dissolves in body fluids. 2- Non-toxic and non-irritant. 3- Compatible with any medicament. 4- Releases any medicament readily. 5- Easily moulded and removed from the mould. 6- Stable to heating above the melting point. 7- Easy to handle. 8- Stable on storage.
  • 15. Suppository bases (Cont.): Suppository bases are classified according to their physical characteristics into: I Fatty bases: designed to melt at body temperature. 1- Theobroma oil (Cocoa butter) It is a yellowish-white solid with an odour of chocolate and is a mixture of glyceryl esters of different unsaturated fatty acids. ** Advantages: a- A melting range of 30 - 36°C (solid at room temperature but melts in the body). b- Readily melted on warming, rapid setting on cooling. c- Miscible with many ingredients. d- Non-irritating.
  • 16. Suppository bases (Cont.): ** Disadvantages: a- Polymorphism: - When melted and cooled it solidifies in different crystalline forms, depending on the temperature of melting, rate of cooling and the size of the mass. - If melted at not more than 36°C and slowly cooled it forms stable beta crystals with normal melting point. - If over-heated then cooled it produce unstable gamma crystals which melt at about 15°C or alpha crystals melting at 20°C.
  • 17. Suppository bases (Cont.): - These unstable forms return to the stable condition after several days. - Cocoa butter must be slowly melted over a warm water bath to avoid the formation of the unstable crystalline form. b- Adherence to the mould: - Cocoa butter does not contract sufficiently on cooling to loosen the suppositories in the mould. - Sticking may be overcome by adequate lubrication.
  • 18. Suppository bases (Cont.): c- Softening point too low for hot climates. d- Melting point reduced by soluble ingredients: - Phenol and chloral hydrate have a tendency to lower the melting point of cocoa butter. - So, solidifying agents like beeswax (4%) may be incorporated to compensate for the softening effect of the added substance. e- Rancidity on storage: Due to the oxidation of unsaturated glycerides.
  • 19. Suppository bases (Cont.): f- Poor water-absorbing ability: Improved by the addition of emulsifying agents. g- Leakage from the body: Sometimes the melted base escapes from the rectum or vagina, so, it is rarely used as a pessary base. h- Expensive
  • 20. Suppository bases (Cont.): 2- Synthetic hard fat: - For example: Suppocire, witepsol. ** Advantages: a- Their solidifying points are unaffected by overheating. b- They have good resistance to oxidation because of the lower content of unsaturated fatty acids. c- The difference between melting and setting points is small. Hence they set quickly, the risk of sedimentation of suspended ingredients is low. d- They are marketed in a series of grades with different melting point ranges, which can be chosen to suit particular products and climatic condition.
  • 21. Suppository bases (Cont.): e- They contain a proportion of w/o emulsifying agents, and therefore, their water-absorbing capacities are good. f- No mould lubricant is necessary because they contract significantly on cooling. ** Disadvantages: a- Brittle if cooled rapidly, avoid refrigeration during preparation. b- The melted fats are less viscous than theobroma oil. As a result greater risk of drug particles to sediment during preparation lack of uniform drug distribution give localized irritancy.
  • 22. Suppository bases (Cont.): II Water-soluble and water-miscible bases: 1- Glycero-gelatin: -The commonest is Glycerol Suppositories Base B.P., which has 14% w/w gelatin, and 70% w/w glycerol & water Q.S. to 100%. . - The glycerol-gelatin base U.S.P. consisted of 20% w/w gelatin, and 70% w/w glycerol & water Q.S. to 100%.
  • 23. Suppository bases (Cont.): ** Disadvantages: a- A physiological effect: osmosis occurs during dissolving in the mucous secretions of the rectum, producing a laxative effect. b- Can cause rectal irritation due to small amount of liquid present. c- Unpredictable solution time. d- Hygroscopic: So, they should be packaged in tight containers and also have dehydrating effects on the rectal and vaginal mucosa leading to irritation. e- Microbial contamination likely. f- Long preparation time. g- Lubrication of the mould is essential.
  • 24. Suppository bases (Cont.): 2- Macrogols (polyethylene glycols): - Polyethylene glycols are polymers of ethylene oxide and water, prepared to various chain lengths, molecular weights, and physical states. - The numerical designations refer to the average molecular weights of each of the polymers. - Polyethylene glycols (PEGs) having average molecular weights of 300, 400, and 600 are clear, colorless liquids, while those with molecular weights of 600-1000 are semisolids. - Those having average molecular weights of greater than 1000 are wax-like, white solids with the hardness increasing with an increase in the molecular weight.
  • 25. Suppository bases (Cont.):  These polyethylene glycols can be blended together to produce suppository bases with varying: melting points, dissolution rates and physical characteristics.  Drug release depends on the base dissolving rather than melting.  The melting point is often around 50°C.  Higher proportions of high molecular weight polymers produce preparations which release the drug slowly and are also brittle.  Less brittle products which release the drug more readily can be prepared by mixing high polymers with medium and low polymers.
  • 26. Suppository bases (Cont.): ** Advantages: a- No laxative effect. b- Less microbial contamination. c- The base contract on cooling and no lubricant is necessary. d- Melting point above body temperature: - Cool storage is not so critical. - Suitable for hot climates - The base dissolve in the body and disperse the medication slowly, providing a sustained effect. e- Produce high-viscosity solutions, so leakage is less likely. f- Good solvent properties.
  • 27. Suppository bases (Cont.): ** Disadvantages: a- Hygroscopic: - Thus may cause irritation to the mucosa. This can be overcome by instructing the patient to dip the preparation in water prior to insertion. b- Poor bioavailability of medicaments: The good solvent properties may result in retention of the drug in the liquefied base with consequent reduction in therapeutic effect. c- Incompatibilities: Incompatibility with several drugs and packaging materials, e.g. benzocaine, penicillin and plastic, may limit their use. d- Brittleness: if cooled too quickly and also on storage.
  • 28. Suppository bases (Cont.): 3- SOAP GLYCERIN:  Obtained by : stearic acid + sodium carbonate in glycerin solution stearin soap (i.e. curd soap, sodium stearate) (used as suppository base). Advantages over gelatin: A- It makes glycerin sufficiently hard for suppositories. B- It allows the incorporation of large quantity of glycerin up to 90- 95% of the mass. C- Soap assists the laxative action of glycerin, whereas gelatin does not. Disadvantages:  Very hygroscopic & require to be wrapped in waxed paper or pure tin foil & protected from the atmosphere.
  • 29. Suppositories (Cont.): Preparation of suppositories: Suppositories are prepared by four methods: I Hand moulding: -Hand molding is useful when we are preparing a small number of suppositories: ***Steps: 1. The drug is made into a fine powder. 2. It is incorporated into the suppository base by kneading with it or by trituration in a mortar. 3. The kneaded mass is rolled between fingers into rod shaped units. 4. The rods are cut into pieces and then one end is pointed.
  • 30. Preparation of suppositories (Cont.): II Compression molding: 1. The cold mass of the base containing the drug is compressed into suppositories using a hand operated machine. **Advantages: 1.It is a simple method. 2. It gives suppositories that are more elegant than hand moulded suppositories. 3. In this method sedimentation of solids in the base is prevented. 4. Suitable for heat labile medicaments. **Disadvantages: 1.Air entrapment may take place. 2.This air may cause weight variation. 3.The drug and/or the base may be oxidized by this air.
  • 31. Preparation of suppositories (Cont.): III Pour moulding: - Using a supp. mould which is made of metal or plastic.Traditional metal moulds are in two halves which are clamped together with a screw. Steps: 1. The base is melted and precautions are taken not to overheat it. 2. The drug is incorporated in it. 3. The molten liquid mass is poured into chilled (lubricated if cocoa butter or glycrogelatin is the base) molds. 4. After solidification the cone shaped suppositories are
  • 32. Lubricants for use with suppository bases: - Lubricating the cavities of the mould is helpful in producing elegant suppositories and free from surface depression. - The lubricant must be different in nature from the suppository base, otherwise it will be become absorbed and will fail to provide a buffer film between the mass & the metal. - The water soluble lubricant is useful for fatty bases while the oily lubricant is useful for water soluble bases. - The lubricant should be applied on a pledget of gauze or with fairly stiff brush.
  • 33. Lubricants for use with suppository bases: Lubricant Base Soap spirit Theobroma oil liquid paraffin Glycerol-gelatin base No lubricant required Synthetic fats No lubricant required Macrogols
  • 34. Preparation of suppositories (Cont.): IV Automatic Moulding machine:  All the operations in pour moulding are done by automatic machines. Using this machine, up to about 10,000 suppositories per hour can be produced.
  • 35. Suppositories (Cont.): Packaging and storage: -Suppositories are usually packed in tin or aluminium, paper or plastic. -Poorly packed suppositories may give rise to staining, breakage or deformation by melting. -Both cocoa butter and glycerinated gelatin suppositories stored preferably in a refrigerator. - Polyethylene glycol suppositories stored at usual room temperature without the requirement of refrigeration.
  • 36. Suppositories (Cont.): Problems in formulation: 1- Water in suppositories: Formulators do not like to use water for dissolving drugs in suppositories for the following reasons : a. Water causes oxidation of fats. b. If the suppositories are manufactured at a high temperature, the water evaporates, the drugs crystallize out. c. Absorption of water soluble drugs is enhanced only if the base is an oil – in – water emulsion with more than 50% of the water in the external phase. d. Drug excipient interactions are more likely to happen in the presence of water. e. Bacterial contamination may be a problem, so we may be forced to add a preservative.
  • 37. Problems in formulation (Cont.): 2- Hygroscopicity: - Glycerogelatin suppositories lose moisture in dry climates and absorb moisture in humid conditions. - The hygroscopicity of polyethylene glycol bases depends on the chain length of the molecule. - As the molecular weight of these ethylene oxide polymers increases the hygroscopicity decreases
  • 38. Problems in formulation (Cont.): 3- Drug-excipient interactions: - Incompatibilities exist between polyethylene glycol base and some drugs. - Sodium barbital and salicylic acid crystallize out of polyethylene glycol. - High concentrations of salicylic acid soften polyethylene glycol to an ointment like consistency. - Penicillin G is stable in cocoa butter and other fatty bases. It decomposes in polyethylene glycol bases.
  • 39. Problems in formulation (Cont.): 4- Viscosity: - When the base has low viscosity, sedimentation of the drug is a problem. - 2% aluminium monostearate may be added to increase the viscosity of the base. - Cetyl and stearyl alcohols or stearic acid are added to improve the consistency of suppositories. 5- Brittleness: -Cocoa butter suppositories are elastic, not brittle. - Synthetic fat bases are brittle. - This problem can be overcome by keeping the temperature difference between the melted base and the mold as small as possible. - Materials that impart plasticity to a fat and make them less brittle are small amounts of Tween 80, castor oil, glycerin or propylene glycol.
  • 40. Problems in formulation (Cont.): 6-Density: Density of the base, the drug, the volume of the mould and whether the base is having the property of volume contraction are all important. They all determine the weight of the suppository. 7- Lubrication of moulds: Some widely used lubricating agents are mineral oil, aqueous solution of SLS, alcohol and tincture of green soap. These are applied by wiping, brushing or spraying.
  • 41. Problems in formulation (Cont.): 8- Volume contraction: - On solidification the volume of the suppository decreases. The mass of the suppository pulls away from the sides of the mould. This contraction helps the suppository to easily slip away from the mould, preventing the need for a lubricating agent. - Sometimes when the suppository mass is contracting, a hole forms at the open end. This gives an inelegant appearance to the suppository. Weight variation among suppositories is also likely to occur. - This contraction can be minimized by pouring the suppository mass slightly above its congealing temperature into a mould warmed to about the same temperature. Another way to overcome this problem is to overfill the molds, and scrape off the excess mass which contains the contraction hole.
  • 42. Problems in formulation (Cont.): 9- Displacement value: - The displacement value may be defined as , the number of parts by weight of medicament that displaces one part by weight of the base. - The volume of suppositories from a particular mould will be constant but the weight will vary because the densities of the medicaments usually differ from the density of the base, and hence the density of the medicament will affect the amount of the base required for each suppository.
  • 43. Problems in formulation (Cont.): 10- Weight and volume control: -Various factors influence the weight of the suppository, the volume of the suppository and the amount of active ingredient in each suppository : They are: 1. Concentration of the drug in the mass 2. Volume of the mould cavity 3. The specific gravity of the base 4. Volume variation between moulds 5. Weight variation between suppositories due to the inconsistencies in the manufacturing process. - The upper limit for the weight variation in suppositories is 5%.
  • 44. Problems in formulation (Cont.): 11- Rancidity : - The unsaturated fatty acids in the suppository bases undergo auto oxidation and decompose into aldehydes, ketones and acids. These products have strong, unpleasant odours. - The lower the content of unsaturated fatty acids in a base, the higher is its resistance to rancidity.
  • 45. Suppositories (Cont.): Quality control of suppositories: 1- Appearance: This includes odour, colour, surface condition and shape. 2- Weight Uniformity: - Weigh 20 suppositories individually. w1, w2, w3….w20 - Weigh all the suppositories together = W. - Calculate the average weight = W/20. Limit: Not more than 2 suppositories differ from the average weight by more than 5%, and no suppository differs from the average weight by more than 10%.
  • 46. Suppositories (Cont.): 3- Melting range test: - Determines the time taken by an entire suppository to melt when it is immersed in a constant temperature bath at 37°C. -The experiment done by using the USP Tablet Disintegration Apparatus. Procedure: 1-The suppository is completely immersed in the constant temperature water bath, and the time for the entire suppository to melt or disperse in the surrounding water is measured. - The suppository is considered disintegrated when: A- It is completely dissolved or B- Dispersed into its component part. C- Become soft “change in shape” with formation of core which is not resistant to pressure with glass rod.
  • 47. Quality control of suppositories (Cont.) 4- Liquefaction Time or Softening Time Test: - In this test a U tube is partially immersed in a constant temperature bath and is maintained at a temperature between 35 to 37°C. There is a constriction in the tube in which the suppository is kept and above the suppository, a glass rod is kept. The time taken for the glass rod to go through the suppository and reach the constriction is known as the liquefaction time or softening time. - Another apparatus is there for finding “softening time” which mimics in vivo conditions. It uses a cellophane tube, and the temperature is maintained by water circulation. Time taken for the suppository to melt is noted.
  • 48. Quality control of suppositories (Cont.) 5- Breaking Test (Hardness): - The breaking test is designed as a method for measuring the fragility or brittleness of suppository. 1-The suppository is placed in the instrument. 2- Add 600 g; leave it for one min. (use a stop watch). 3- If not broken, add 200 g every one min. until the suppository is broken. Calculations:  The hardness of the suppository is calculated by adding the weights together.  But if the suppository is broken before the end of the last min. the last weight is canceled. -
  • 49. Quality control of suppositories (Cont.) 6- Dissolution test: - By using different types of apparatus such as wire mesh basket, or dialysis tubing is used to test for in vitro release from suppositories.
  • 50. Quality control of suppositories (Cont.) 7- Stability testing: -Cocoa butter suppositories on storage, “bloom”; i.e., they form a white powdery deposit on the surface. This can be avoided by storing the suppositories at uniform cool temperatures and by wrapping them in foils. - Fat based suppositories harden on storage, i.e., there is an upward shift in melting range due to slow crystallization to the more stable polymorphic forms of the base. - The softening time test and differential scanning calorimetry can be used as stability indicating test methods. - If we store the suppositories at an elevated temperature, just below its melting range, immediately after manufacture, the aging process is speeded up.