Drugs are given in different forms. There are many forms of drugs to suit the needs of the individual patients.
A same drug is made in different forms for ease of administration, pharmacology and patient related factors.
For example, pain killers like diclofenac is available as tablet, injection and even ointment.
Tablets can be consumed voluntarily by the patient for its effect on whole of the body.
While injection form is given for unconscious patient and ointment is applied for local effect (like one portion of the body).
As such there a many forms of drugs for different purposes.
Forms of Drugs
Following a different drug formulation available.
- Chewable tablets
- Effervescent granules
1.Tablets: These are most common forms of drugs available in the market. They are economical, easy to handle and consume by the patient. They can be swallowed with a glass of water. They are of different shapes like circular, rectangular etc. They are also of different type like film coated, sugar coated ones etc.
2. Capsules: These are similar to tablets in the ease of administration. They have two gelatin shells in which active drug ingredients are packed.
They are also quite popular like tablets but are comparatively expensive to make. The advantage is they can include liquid from of drug and also incompatible formulations in their shells.
3. Chewable tablets: These are similar to tablets in appearance but they are large in size with attractive color, odor and sweet taste. They are meant to be chewed in the mouth for the drug to release and show its effects. Eg: Antacid tablets.
4. Powders: These are solid dosage forms and are in powder format. They are used for dusting and external applications like on wounds, cuts, skin infection etc.
5. Solutions: These are very popular formulations. Here the drug is dissolved in a suitable solvent. Swallowing of fixed volume of liquid solution provides sufficient drug needed for cure by the body. These solutions are clear liquids bu can have color, taste and also acceptable odor.
These are commonly used for old age patients and children. The advantage is faster on set of action and also better absorption of drug in comparison to tablets.
Eg: Oral syrups. eye drops, ear drops, nasal drops etc.
6. Emulsions: This is an interesting formulation where in a water insoluble drug is made into liquid formulation by addition of soap like emulsifying agent. This emulsifying agent disperses the water insoluble drug as fine particles or goblets within the water by forming a film or cover around the drug particles. Read more on types of emulsions.
7. Suspensions: These are liquid formulation but the difference is they have fine solid particles dispersed in an aqueous liquid. These formulations tend to form cream when kept undisturbed for long time. Hence they have a label “SHAKE WELL BEFORE USE.” This helps the settled cream to disperse for uniform dosing of drug.
8. Ointments: These are semi solid dosage forms. They can be solutions, suspensions or even emulsions but have high viscosity. They are intended for application on skin and other surface by spreading. They are easy to use and have an advantage of local effect to minimize adverse effects of drugs.
9. Effervescent granules: They are also in the form of effervescent tablets. When put into water, they undergo chemical reaction to produce carbon dioxide gas. This when swallowed removes any gas from the stomach and helps in relieving gastric acidity.
10. Aerosols: These are powder or liquid formulations which are applied by spraying. The formulation is released as gaseous dispersion and so can reach deeper locations like respiratory tract.
12. Suppositories: These are solid dosage forms which are intended for insertion in the anus. They release drug slowly and good for local action.
Injections are mostly solution based formulations which are given to unconscious patient or in case emergency. The drug action by this method starts almost immediately.