There are a great variety of pharmacy dosage forms. This page discusses many of the common pharmacy dosage forms and clearly defines each one.
Solid Oral Dosage Forms
Tablets are a solid dosage form which varies in size, weight, shape, and other ways. There are a couple different tablet types. Enteric-Coated tablets have a coating on them which causes them to be dissolved in the intestinal tract instead of in the stomach. An example is Enteric-Coated Aspirin. Buccal tablets are intended to be placed in the buccal pouch (between the gums and the cheek) and slowly dissolved. This dosage form does not pass through the gastrointestinal tract-it is absorbed into the bloodstream directly.
Sublingual tablets are intended to be placed under the tongue. Similar to buccal tablets, sublingual tablets are directly absorbed into the bloodstream and bypass the intestines. Chewable tablets are meant to be chewed before swallowing. Lozenges and Troches are intended to be dissolved while held in the mouth. This medication form is intended to stay in contact with the throat and mouth over an extended amount of time. Effervescent tablets release carbon dioxide and rapidly dissolve in water. They should never be swallowed or chewed. They should always be placed in a water and dissolved. Orally Disintegrating Tablets are tablets that must dissolved on the tongue.
Capsules are a solid dosage form enclosed in a hard shell or soft gelatin coating. When taken with water, the capsules' coating becomes slippery and easy to swallow.
Liquid Oral Dosage Forms
An Elixir is a preparation that contains a hydroalcoholic liquid that has a clear color. It is intended to be consumed orally.
A Suspension is a preparation that contains tiny particles that are solid. These particles are suspended (not dissolved) in the liquid.
A Syrup is a preparation that contains a concentrated sugar solution in water with other active ingredients.
A Solution contains ingredients of a medication that are solid. These ingredients are dissolved in the liquid (normally the liquid is water.)
A Reconstitution is a medication that is in a powdered form. A suspension is made from this powder by adding a very specific amount of distilled water. It is important to shake the suspension well after adding the water. Some reconstitutions, after adding water, require refrigeration.
Ophthalmic Suspensions are a form a mixture where medicine or medicines are suspended in a liquid base and meant to be applied directly to the eye. Treatment of pressure, pain or glaucoma are common things that would be treated with an Ophthalmic suspension.
Ophthalmic Solutions are mostly water-based, and are delivered directly to the eye. Eye drops are a common example of an Ophthalmic solution. Eye drops are usually used to treat symptoms such as dry or red eyes, rather than causes.
Ophthalmic Gels are applied directly to the eye, usually before bedtime. The easiest manner to apply them is to pull the lower eyelid out (creating a pouch) and apply the dose of gel into this pouch. Then close your eyes and roll the eyeball around to spread out the gel. Treating glaucoma is one common use of an Ophthalmic gel.
Ophthalmic Ointments are designed for use around the eyes and are safe enough that incidental contact with the eye itself is acceptable. These can be used to treat or prevent infections in wounds close to the eye.
Otic Dosage Forms
Otic Suspensions are delivered directly into the ear, usually to treat an ear infection. An Otic suspension would also be used in the case of a ruptured eardrum. Typical application is done by having the patient lie on their side with the affected ear turned upwards and the suspension is then allowed to drain directly into the ear.Otic Solutions are used to treat ear infections. Solutions are often more likely to cause discomfort in the patient, due to a lower pH value than similar suspensions. Application is similar to than of an Otic suspension, the liquid is applied directly into the ear and allowed to drain downward into the affected area.
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