Medicated topicals

Purnima D. Amin, Bahijja Tolulope Raimi-Abraham, Devanshi S. Shah, Sharda Gurram

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Medications are applied to the skin or inserted into body orifices are of great value as they can elicit many therapeutic effects. The effect elicited depends on the formulation characteristics, which in turn affects its percutaneous absorption. This implies that percutaneous absorption can be modified to achieve the target response. Like biopharmaceutical classification system, a systematic approach that helps in generic drug approval process is developed termed as the “topical drug classification system (TCS).” This classifies the drug products based on their composition and microstructure. Topical formulations can be classified majorly into two classes-(1) single-phase systems, including ointments and gels, and (2) biphasic systems, including all the emulsions such as creams, lotions, and emulgels. These differ in their ingredients, manufacturing processes and physicochemical properties. Another class of formulations includes those inserted in the body orifices such as rectum, vagina, and urethra. These are termed as suppositories, pessaries, and bougies as per the site of administration. Recent advances have been developed in these routes of administration for convenience and improved efficacy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRemington
Subtitle of host publicationThe Science and Practice of Pharmacy
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780128200070
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Creams
  • Franz diffusion cell
  • Gels
  • Ointments
  • Percutaneous absorption
  • Suppositories
  • Topical drug classification system (TCS)


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