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Summary of Suppositories And Pessaries :-

Definition : Suppositories are the solid dosage forms meant to be inserted into the body cavities like rectum , urethra and vagina ,where they melt or soften to release the drugs and exert local or systemic effects. 

Advantages :-  
  • Can exert local effect on rectal mucosa
  • Used to promote evacuation of bowel
  • Avoid any gastrointestinal irritation.
  • Can be used in unconscious patients (e.g. during fitting)
  • Can be used for systemic absorption of drugs and avoid first-pass metabolism
  • Babies or old people who cannot swallow oral medication.
  • Post operative people who cannot be administered oral medication
  • People suffering from severe nausea or vomiting

Disadvantages :- 
  • The problem of patient acceptability
  • Suppositories are not suitable for patients suffering from diarrhea
  • In some cases the total amount of the drug must be given will be either too irritating or in greater amount than reasonably can be placed into suppository
  • Incomplete absorption may be obtained because suppository usually promotes evacuation of the bowel. 

Types of Bases :-
Bases : They are of two types 
  1. Hydrophilic bases
  2. Water-dispersible bases 

Properties : These are mixtures of non-ionic surfactants which are chemically related to polyethylene glycols. These are used alone or in combination with other types of bases

Test of physical strength :-
In this test, tensile strength of suppositories is measured to assess their ability to withstand the rigors of normal handling. 
The apparatus used is called as breaking test apparatus. It consists of a double-wall chamber. Through the walls of the chamber, water is pumped. The inner chamber consist of a disc which holds the suppositories. To this disc, a rod is attached. The other end of the rod consists of another disc on which weights are placed.

On the first disc the test suppository is placed. On the second disc a 600 g weight is placed. At 1 minute interval, 200 g weights are added till the suppository crumbles. All the weights used are added which gives the tensile strength. Likewise, few more suppositories are tested and the average tensile strength is calculated. Tensile strength indicates the maximum force which the suppository can withstand during production, packing and handling. Large tensile strength indicates less tendency to fracture.

Test of drug uptake :- Both in-vitro and in-vivo tests should be conducted to assess the amount of drug absorbed into the systemic circulation. 
  1. In-Vitro test - The test conditions should be similar to those inside the human body. The dissolution apparatus is used which consists of simulated gastric and simulated intestinal fluids. Definite number of suppositories are placed in the apparatus. Aliquot portions of the dissolution medium are withdrawn at definite intervals of time and drug uptake is measured using a U.V. spectrophotometer.  

  2. In-Vivo test - This test is carried in animals or human volunteers. The suppository is placed in the intended body cavity. At regular intervals of time, blood samples are collected and the amount of drug present is determined.