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HISTORIA11: ELIXIR. An elixir (Arabic: الإكسير, Al-Ikseer‎ probably originally Greek: ξήριον, medical powder, xerion "powder for drying wounds", from ξηρός, xeros dry[1] [1]) is a clear, sweet-flavored liquid (usually containing alcohol) used in compounding medicines to be taken orally in order to mask an unpleasant taste and intended to cure one's ills. Elixirs are sometimes made from vodka or grappa.

Elixir

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Vodka can be used for making elixirs

An elixir (Arabic: الإكسير, Al-Ikseer‎ probably originally Greek: ξήριον, medical powder, xerion "powder for drying wounds", from ξηρός, xeros dry[1] [1]) is a clear, sweet-flavored liquid (usually containing alcohol) used in compounding medicines to be taken orally in order to mask an unpleasant taste and intended to cure one's ills. Elixirs are sometimes made from vodka or grappa.

When used as a pharmaceutical preparation, it contains at least one active ingredient dissolved in a solution that contains 15 to 50% by volume of ethyl alcohol and it is designed to be taken orally.

Contents

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[edit] Types

[edit] Non medicated elixirs

It is used as a solvent or vehicle for the preparation of medicated elixirs: aromatic elixirs (USP), isoalcholic elixirs (NF) or compound benaldehyde elixirs (NF).

[edit] Medicated elixirs
  • Antihistaminic elixirs: used against allergy: chlarphenivamine maleate elixirs (USP), diphenhydramine HCl elixirs.
  • Sedative and hypotonic elixirs: sedatives induce drowsiness and hypotonics induce sleep: pediatric chloral hydrate elixirs.
  • Expectorant: used as productive cough (cough with sputum): terpin hydrate elixirs.
  • Miscellaneous: acetaminophen (paracetamol) elixirs which are used as analgesic.

[edit] Composition

An elixir is a hydro-alcoholic solution of at least one active ingredient. The alcohol is mainly used to:

  • Solubilize the active ingredient(s) and some excipients
  • Retard the crystallization of sugar
  • Preserve the finished product
  • Provide a certain sharpness to the taste
  • Aid in masking the unpleasant taste of the active ingredient(s)
  • Enhance the flavor.

The lowest alcoholic quantity that will dissolve completely the active ingredient(s) and give a clear solution is generally chosen. High concentrations of alcohol give burning taste to the final product.

An elixir may also contain the following excipients:

[edit] Preparation

When preparing an elixir, it is important to pay attention to the solubility and the solubility strength of each ingredient. Here is an example of a method to prepare an elixir:

  • Dissolve water-soluble ingredients in a part of water
  • Add and solubilize sugar in this aqueous solution (sugar decreases the solubilizing properties of water)
  • Dissolve alcohol-soluble ingredients in alcohol
  • Add the aqueous phase to the alcoholic phase
  • Add clarifying agents like talc if needed
  • Filter if needed
  • Make to volume with water.

[edit] Storage

Elixirs should be stored in a tightly closed and light resistant container away from direct heat and sunlight.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=elixir
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