Demulcents

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Chapter: Essential pharmacology : Drugs Acting On Skin And Mucous Membranes

Demulcents are inert substances which sooth inflamed/denuded mucosa or skin by preventing contact with air/irritants in the surroundings. They are, in general, high molecular weight substances and are applied as thick colloidal/ viscid solutions in water.


DEMULCENTS

 

Demulcents are inert substances which sooth inflamed/denuded mucosa or skin by preventing contact with air/irritants in the surroundings. They are, in general, high molecular weight substances and are applied as thick colloidal/ viscid solutions in water. Some, like gum acacia, gum tragacanth produce foam with water, reduce surface tension and act as suspending/emulsifying agents.

 

Glycyrrhiza is a sweet tasting root (liquorice); used in cough lozenges to sooth the throat and as sweetening/flavouring agent in mixtures. It contains a glycoside glycyrrhizin which has steroid like salt retaining action when taken orally.

 

Methylcellulose It is a synthetic cellulose derivative used as bulk purgative, in nose drops and contact lens solutions.

 

CADILOSE 0.5% drops in 10 ml bottle.

 

Propylene glycol is a clear, viscous liquid, miscible with water as well as some oils that is used in cosmetics and as occlusive dressing for ichthyosis, etc.

 

Glycerine is a clear, sweet, viscous liquid. Undiluted glycerine has dehydrating property— produces a warm sensation and irritates mucous membranes. Applied to anal canal as suppository it induces evacuation. Applied to dry skin and cracked lips (50% in water) it acts as emollient and is a popular vehicle for gum/throat paints. It is also used orally/per rectum (50–75%) or intravenously (10%) to reduce intraocular/ intracranial tension.

 

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