Essay Pharmaceutical Emulsions: Principles of Pharmacy

Essay Pharmaceutical Emulsions: Principles of Pharmacy

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Emulsions are a dispersion system composed of two immiscible liquids or more. One of the liquids is dispersed as small fine droplets throughout the other liquid. Depending on the dispersed and external phases, emulsions can be classified as: water-in-oil emulsions which are fine aqueous droplets dispersed in an oily hydrophobic continuous phase or oil-in-water emulsions which are fine oily droplets dispersed in an aqueous hydrophilic continuous phase. Other types are multiple emulsions which consist of a dispersed phase containing droplets of another phase for example w/o/w or o/w/o. Microemulsions are based on the size of the liquid droplets. These comprise of spherical or cylindrical droplets having a size between 10 – 120 nm (Mehta, S & Kaur, G 2011) dispersed in another phasing using an emulsifier or a mixture of emulsifier in high concentration (15 -25%). Emulsions are thermodynamically unstable due to the large surface area between the two phases resulting in a high interfacial energy. The system will try to lower the energy by reducing the area of contact between the two phases resulting in coalescence of the dispersed phase, droplet size enlargement and eventually phase separation. Therefore it’s important to stabilise the interface between the two immiscible phases. This is done by the addition of an appropriate emulsifying agent. These are amphiphilic surfactants containing both hydrophilic and hydrophobic characters. Therefore they are classified according to the balance of characteristics using the hydrophilic-lipophilic balance (HLB) system. The HLB values range from 0 to 20 on an arbitrary scale with each surfactant having a unique value. The higher region of the scale includes hydrophilic surfactants su...

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...sicochemical Principles of pharmacy, 4th edition, A. T. Florence and D.Attwood (Ed.), Pharmaceutical Press (2006), Chapter 4: Drug stability, pages 93-138.

Martin’s Physical Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 5th edition, A. P. J. Sinko, Lippincott Williams and Wilkings (2006), Chapter 15: Chemical kinetics and stability, pages 397-434.

Francoise Nielloud, F. (2000). Pharmaceutical emulsions and suspensions. [Online access] Google Books. Available at: http: r0NsnF7Ab8qYG4CQ&ved=0CFUQ6wEwBg#v=onepage&q=emulsions&f=false

Dipak Kumar, Sarker. (2013). Pharmaceutical Emulsions: a drug developer’s toolbag. [Online access] Google Books. Available at:

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