c. Fluid Preparations. Fluid drugs for oral and external use are packaged in
bottles; those for injection are packaged sterile in vials or ampules.
(1) Fluidextracts. Alcoholic or hydroalcoholic solutions of the active
constituents of vegetable drugs. They are usually prepared so that each milliliter of the
finished preparation contains the extractive from 1 gm of the crude drug. These drugs
should be kept in dark bottles because many of them precipitate in light. They are not
to be used if precipitate has formed.
Spirit. An alcoholic solution of volatile substances.
(3) Elixir. A solution containing alcohol, sugar, and flavoring substance in
which one or more drugs may be dissolved.
(4) Tincture. Alcoholic or hydroalcoholic solution or ostrichtion of a drug.
Tinctures of potent drugs are 10 percent in strength; of most other drugs, 20 percent in
(5) Emulsion. A mixture of two liquids, usually oil and water, one of which is
dispersed as droplets in the other. Any emulsion should have a "SHAKE WELL" label
on the container.
(6) Suspension. A liquid preparation containing undissolved material. A
"SHAKE WELL" label is applied to the container.
(7) Syrup. A highly concentrated sugar solution containing a flavoring agent
into which a drug may be incorporated.
(8) Liniment. A solution of drugs in a soapy, oily, or alcoholic base,
intended for external application with friction.
(9) Lotion. An aqueous preparation, usually containing suspended insoluble
matter, to be applied externally. A "SHAKE WELL" label should be on the container.
d. Cautions Concerning Certain Fluid Drugs. Fluidextracts, spirits, elixirs,
and tinctures (paragraph 2-2c(1)-(4) above) are preparations that are generally potent
and, hence, the dosage is likely to be small. The usual dose range is from a few drops
up to 2 to 4 ml. In addition, these drugs are never to be injected. Fluid drugs containing
alcohol should not be applied to open lesions.
Posology is the science of dosage. It deals with the amount of drug necessary to
produce a desired physiological, therapeutic, or prophylactic effect.