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.
Table of Contents
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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- Colouring agent: Amaranth, compound tartrazine dyes are used for coloring purposes.
- Flavouring agent: Black currant syrup, raspberry syrup, lemon syrup, etc.
- 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
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