Suppositories (Rectal, Vaginal, Urethral)

SuppositoriesSuppositories are solid dosage forms that melt, soften, or dissolve in a body cavity. Although not often the first choice for a dosage form by the patient, there is no disputing that suppositories are very useful for administering drugs to infants and children, severely debilitated patients, and for those whom an avoidance of oral or injectable products is desired. Their benefits can be local in nature (ex. hemorrhoid treatment) or systemic (ex. analgesics, antibiotics, hormones, antinauseants) and can be formulated into either single or multiple-ingredient suppositories.

How do we compound your suppositories?

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Choosing a Formulation

Depending on the drug being compounded, the pharmacist will choose a specific base to use in the suppository. Their selection will take into consideration such things as whether the base is stable, non-irritating, compatible with the drug(s) being compounded, stable during storage, will melt or dissolve in the body cavity, and most importantly, will not bind or otherwise interfere with the release or absorption of the drug. Depending on the drug(s) and the dosage to be included in the suppository, the pharmacist will determine the size of suppository to be used and calculate the amounts of base to use.

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Measuring the Ingredients

Next, the drug and the base will be weighed out accurately on a prescription weigh scale.

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Preparing the Drug and The Molds

The drug is ground into as fine a powder as possible using a mortar and pestle. The molds may be lubricated if necessary.

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Base Preparation

Depending on the base, it may be ground up into smaller pieces first, and then melted to a specific temperature on a hot plate.

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Mixing and Pouring

The drug is often mixed directly into the base and then mixed using a stir rod or a magnetic stirring setup. Once sufficiently mixed, the melt is poured into the mold such that the molds are uniformly filled.

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Cooling and Finishing

The molds usually require 30 minutes at room temperature to solidify, sometimes followed by refrigeration to completely solidify them.


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Depending on the type of mold used, the suppositories are either heat-sealed inside the molds and dispensed as is, or are popped out of the molds and individually wrapped in foil. Suppositories are usually packaged into boxes for dispensing where they are labeled appropriately for the patient they were compounded for. Lot number and expiry date are noted and any special storage instructions are included (usually refrigeration).