Elixirs are defined as clear, aromatic, sweetened, hydroalcoholic liquids intended for oral use.

  • They provide a palatable means of administering potent or nauseous drugs.
  • Elixirs are less sweet and less viscous then syrup may contain less or no sucrose.
  • Elixirs are more stable than syrups and hence preferred over syrup.
  • Elixirs contain 4-40% of alcohol (ethanol).
  • They may contain glycerin and syrup for increasing the solubility of medicaments or for sweetening purposes.
  • Elixirs may also contain suitable flavoring and coloring agents.
  • Preservatives are not needed in elixirs as the alcohol content is sufficient to act as a preservative.

Types of elixir

Non-medicated: Not contain medicament and used as a flavoring agent. For example Aromatic elixir.

Medicated: Which contain potent drugs such as antibiotics, antihistamines, sedatives.

Paracetamol Elixir
Paracetamol Elixir

Method of Preparation Elixirs

  • Elixirs are prepared by simple dissolution with agitation or by mixing two or more liquids
  • Ingredients are dissolved in their respective solvents. For example alcohol-soluble ingredients in alcohol and water-soluble in water.
  • Alcoholic strength is maintained by adding the aqueous solution to the alcoholic solution.
  • The mixture is then made up to the desired volume (q.s.).
  • At this stage, the product may not be clear due to the separation of some of the flavoring agents because the alcoholic strength is reduced.
  • Then elixir allowed to stand for some time here the oil globules start precipitating.
  • Then elixir is filtered.
  • Talc can be added to absorb the excess oils.
  • Filtration gives a clear product.

Formulation of Elixir

  1. Vehicles: The elixirs are usually prepared by using water, alcohol, glycerin, sorbitol, and propylene glycol. Certain oils are easily soluble in alcohol where alcohol is used as cosolvent. 30-40% of alcohol may be used to make a clear solution.
  2. Adjuncts
  • Chemical stabilizer: The various chemicals or special solvents are used in many elixirs to make the suitable elixir. E.g. For neomycin elixir – citric acid is added to adjust pH.
    1. Colouring agent: Amaranth, compound tartrazine dyes are used for coloring purposes.
    2. Flavouring agent: Black currant syrup, raspberry syrup, lemon syrup, etc.
    3. Preservatives: Alcohol 20% or more propylene glycol or glycerol as a vehicle is used as a preservative. Chloroform’s desirable strength, benzoic acid may also be used.

Container: Elixirs are dispensed in well-filled, well-closed airtight or glass bottles having screw caps.

Storage: Store in a cool and dry place, protected from sunlight.

Formula of elixir :


Lemon oil 0.025 ml Syrup 375 ml

Talc 30 gm

Purified water – q.s. to 1000 ml

Make sure you also check our other amazing Article on : Syrups
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