Powder for suspension

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Chapter: Pharmaceutical Drugs and Dosage: Dosage forms - Suspensions

The inherent physical instability of suspensions and the desirability of a relatively long shelf life have led to the popularity of powder for suspension (PFS) dosage forms.


Powder for suspension

The inherent physical instability of suspensions and the desirability of a relatively long shelf life have led to the popularity of powder for suspension (PFS) dosage forms. These dosage forms are developed as powder mixtures of typical ingredients required for an aqueous suspension and are marketed in unit dose sachet or multidose bottles. The pharmacist reconstitutes these dosage forms with water before dispensing to the patient. The reconstituted suspension has a limited shelf life under designated storage conditions, such as 14 days under refrigeration.

1. Unit dose powder for suspension: A unit dose sachet of powder could be administered to a patient by sprinkling on the top of a semisolid food, such as jelly or ice cream, or by suspending in a suitable vehicle, such as water or juice, immediately before administration. This mode of administration is preferred for pediatric and geriatric populations, who may have swallowing difficulty, and for high dose compounds. A key requirement for this dosage form is the palatability of the drug. Extremely bitter or unpleasant tasting drugs are generally not suitable for formulation as PFS.

2. Multidose powder for suspension: The multidose PFS are dispensed as powders in a suitable-sized bottle for reconstitution with water by the pharmacist immediately before dispensing. This allows the advantage of custom flavoring by the pharmacist to increase patient compliance and the reduced requirement for the duration of physi-cal and chemical stability of the formulation. For example, the com-bination of amoxicillin and potassium clavulanate is dispensed as multidose PFS in a bottle. Superior stability of the powder dosage form allows long shelf life of the commercial product at room tem-perature of a drug that is very unstable in the presence of water. The pharmacist reconstitutes this PFS immediately before dispensing. The reconstituted suspension is required to be stored by the patient under refrigerated conditions and consumed within 14 days.

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