Article | October 4, 2021

An Overview Of Topical Drug Product Forms – Part 2

By Dr. David Barnes, founder, chief executive officer, and chief scientific officer, Velesco Pharmaceutical Services

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In part two, we will discuss the various types of topical products (ointments, creams, gels, sprays, and lotions), detailing their characteristics both in terms of formulation and use.

As discussed earlier, there has been an increase in the development of topical drug products as a way to deliver drugs locally to those surfaces, rather than systemically. There are reduced side effects and toxicity to other organs as a result of this type of delivery compared to systemically delivered medications (oral, injectable, etc.). Choosing the right form for topical delivery of a drug can be challenging. Each form can serve a different purpose due to the API and excipients as well as the ratios of oil and water. Depending upon their oil content, different forms can be more or less desirable for treating diseases such as dry skin, rashes, or skin lesions as the drug product stays on the skin surface to protect against moisture loss.

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