“Suppositories are solid dosage forms
intended for insertion in to body cavities or
orifices (Rectum, Vagina & Urethra) where
they melt or dissolved & exert localized or
It avoid first pass effect.
Melt at body temperature.
It gives localized and systemic action.
It can be given to unconscious patient.
It is easy to use for pediatric and geriatric
Useful to produce local effect.
Useful for rapid and direct effect in rectum.
Useful to promote evacuation of bowel
Convenient for those drug causes GIT
irritation , vomiting etc.
Irritant drug cant administered
Embarrassment to patients
Need to store at low temp.
Cant easily prepared
fluid content of the rectum is much less than
that of the small intestine; this may effect
dissolution rate, etc.
Some drug may be degraded by the microbial
flora present in the rectum.
1. Rectal suppositories.
2. Vaginal suppositories.
3. Urethral suppositories.
4. Nasal suppositories.
5. Ear cones.
This type of tablets prepared by compression
Such type of suppositories used for rectal &
Pessaries tablet suppositories are present in
almond like shape.
Rectal tablets covered with thin layers of
materials such as polyethylene glycol for
In that type of suppositories are contains
different drugs in different layers.
So that, incompatibility drugs can be
separated from each other.
Similarly drugs having different melting
points can be incorporated to control the
In that type of suppositories contains
polyethylene glycol, cetyl alcohol etc.
Those materials controls their disintegration
rate, to impart lubricant properties & to
provide protection action during storage.
Soft gelatin capsules of different shapes &
size are prepared in that type of
In that type of capsule suppositories are filled
with liquids, semisolids or solids.
These type of capsules are increasing in
Suppository bases plays important role in
maintaining their shape, solidity & also play
important role when inserted into the body
There are large number of bases used but
theobroma oil, glycerogelatin base &
polyethylene glycol fulfil l the above mentioned
It must retain the shape and size.
It should melt at body temperature.
It should be non-irritant.
It should shrink sufficiently to remove from
It should not interfere in release or absorption
It should permit incorporation of drug.
It should be compatible with variety of drugs.
It should be physically stable on storage.
It should not be soften or harden on storage.
Oily Bases or Oleaginous bases
Water Soluble & Water miscible bases
Cocoa butter or Theobroma Oil
Emulsified cocoa butter.
Cocoa butter is fat obtained from the roasted seed
of Theobroma cocoa.
• At room temperature it is a yellowish, white solid
having a faint, agreeable chocolate like odour.
• Chemically, it is a triglyceride (combination of
glycerin and one or different fatty acids) primarily
of oleopalmitostearin and oleodistearine.
• It melts at 30 – 350C
◦ Melting just below the body temperature.
◦ Maintaining its solidity at usual room temperatures.
◦ Readily liquefy on heating and solidify on cooling.
◦ Stick to mould.
◦ Leakage from body cavity.
◦ Immiscibility with body fluid.
◦ Chloral hydrate or lactic acid liquefy it.
Emulsified theobroma oil may be used as a
base when large quantities of aqueous
solutions are to be incorporated.
5% glyceryl monostearate, 10% lanette wax, 2-
3% cetyl alcohol & 4% bees wax is
recommended for emulsified theobroma oil.
Hydrogenated oils are used as a substitute of
E.g. Hydrogenated edible oil, coconut oil,
hydrogenated pea oil, stearic acids, palm
kernel oil etc.
▪ Overheating does not affect the solidifying point.
▪ They are resistant to oxidation.
▪ Lubrication of the mould is not required.
▪ Their emulsifying & water absorbing capacity are
▪ On rapid cooling they become brittle.
▪ When melted they are more fluid than theobroma
oil & result in greater sedimentaion of the added
➢It is a mixture of glycerin and water which is made st iff
by the addition of gelatin.
This base is used to prepare all type of suppositories but
mainly used to prepare pessaries.
➢it is colourless, transparent, translucent in nature.
➢ It is soft to touch.
➢It melts at 30 – 350C.
➢used for vaginal suppositories.
: It melt at body temperature.
◦ It mix with body fluid.
◦ Not rancid.
◦ It can be used to prepare suppositories using boric acid,
chloral hydrate bromides, iodides, iodoform opium etc.
◦ Difficult to prepare and handle.
◦ Chance of bacterial growth.
◦ Hygroscopic in nature. (become hard on drying and soft in
cont with moisture)
◦ Laxative in action.
◦ Incompatible with tannic acid, ferric chloride etc.
Soap glycerin suppositories:
➢In this base the gelatin is replaced with either curd soap or
sodium stearate which makes the base sufficiently hard to
prepare good quality of suppositories.
➢The main disadvantage of this base is that they are very
hygroscopic in nature.
➢Therfore the suppositories prepared with this base must be
protected from atmosphere and wrapped in waxed paper .
These are commonly known as carbowaxes
These are available in solid, liquid or semi-
solid state depending on molecular weight.
Those polymers having the molecular
weight betw. 200 to 1000 are liquids &
those having M.W higher than 1000 are wax
They are chemically stable & physiologically
inert substances & do not allow the
bacterial or mold growth to take place.
They are chemically stable.
Do not allow bacterial growth.
Physical properties changes according to
Provide prolonged action.
Do not stick to mould.
Suppositories are clean and smooth in
They solidify rapidly.
They are non-irritant.
The lubrication of mould is not required.
Overheat ing does not affect the physical
properties of the base.
They can absorb fairly large amount of
water or aqueous liquids.
The white, odourless, clean and attractive
suppositories are produced.
They are less liable to get rancid.
They should not be cooled rapidly in a
refrigerator because they become brittle.
They are not very viscous on melting, so the
medicaments incorporated with the base
settle down rapidly.
They consist of triglycerides of saturated
vegetable fatty acid with varying percentage
of partial esters.
A small amount of beeswax is added for use
in hot climate.
It should not be cooled rapidly as it become
brittle and fracture.
Lubrication is required.
It is a mixture of mono, di and triglycerides of
saturated fatty acids.
It is a white, brittle, almost odourless and
It has a m.p. 33.5 to 35.50C.
They are available in various grades but grade
B is commonly used in dispensing.
➢It consists of glyceryl esters.
➢Small amount of glyceryl monostearate has been added to
improve its water absorbing capacity.
Hand rolling method
Hot process or fusion method
Cold compression method
It is the oldest and simplest method of suppository preparation
and may be used when only a few suppositories are to be
prepared in a cocoa butter base.
It has the advantage of avoiding the necessity of heating the
A plastic- l ike mass is prepared by tr i turat ing grated cocoa
butter and active ingredients in a mortar.
The mass is formed into a ball in the palm of the hands, then
rolled into a uniform cylinder with a large spatula or small flat
board on a pil l tile.
The cylinder is then cut into the appropriate number of pieces
which are rolled on one end to produce a conical shape.
Effective hand roll ing requires considerable practice and skill .
Now a days this method is not used.
➢ Melting the suppository base
➢ Dispersing or dissolving the drug in the melted base.
➢ The mixture is removed f ro m the heat and poured into a
➢ Allowing the melt to congeal
➢ Removing the formed suppositories f ro m the mold.
➢ The fusion method can be used with all types of suppositories
and must be used with most of them.
➢ Small scale molds are capable of producing 6 or 12
suppositories in a single operation.
➢ Industrial m olds produce hundreds of suppositories f ro m a
Method of prepration
➢Thoroughly clean and lubricate the mould with a suitable lubricant.
➢Keep the mould on ice in the inverted position to cool and drain an excess of the
➢The lubrication of the mould is not required in case the emulsifying base or
synthetic base is used.
➢Heat the china dish over a water bath.
➢To this add the required quantity of cocoa butter or any other base after taking
into account the displacement value of the medicament.
➢Allowance is made for unavoidable wastage during preparation by calculating
for two extra suppositories.
➢Remove the china dish from the water bath, when two third of the base melts
and stir thoroughly until whole of the mass melts.this process prevents
overheating of base.
➢Place the weighed quantity of powdered medicament to be incorporated with
the suppository base on an ointment tile.
➢Pour about half of the melted base over it and mix it thoroughly with a spatula.
➢Transfer the mixed mass to the china dish and mix thoroughly so that a
homogenous mass is formed.
➢Warm the china dish over a water bath for a few seconds with constant
stirring,so tht mass becomes pourable.
➢Pour the melted mass into the cavities of the suppository mould, kept over the
➢Fill each cavity to over flowing, in order to prevent the formation of hollows in
the tops of the finished suppoositories because cocoa butter contracts on cooling
and hollows are formed at the top of the suppositories.
➢The precautions must be taken while pouring the mass into the cavities.it must
be continuously stirred to ensure even distribution of the medicament in all the
➢The precautions must be taken while pouring the mass into the cavities.it must
be continuously stirred to ensure even distribution of the medicament in all the
➢Remove the excess mass with the help of sharp knife or blade when the mass is
➢Keep the mould over ice or in cool place for 10 -15 min.
➢Open the mould and remove the suppositories.
➢Wipe off the suppository lightly with a clean cloth or filter paper
➢Wrap the individual suppository in a wax paper.
➢ The method is useful for thermolabile and insoluble drugs,
because heating and stirring of the base is not required.
➢ Cocoa butter is grated.
➢ The ingredients are mixed with an equal quantity of grated
➢ Add the remaining amount of grated cocoa butter.
➢ While calculating the amount of cocoa butter to be
incorporated with the medicaments, allowances are made for
unavoidable wastage during the preparation.
The frict ion of the process causing the base to soften into a
past- l ike consistency.
On a small scale, a mortar and pestle may be used (preheated
mortar facilitate softening of the base).
On large scale, mechanically operated kneading mixers and a
warmed mix ing vessel may be applied.
In the compression machine, the suppository mass is placed into
a cylinder which is then closed.
Pressure is applied f ro m one end to release the mass f ro m the
other end into the suppository mold or die.
When the die is fil led with the mass, a movable end plate at the
back of the die is removed and when additional pressure is
applied to the mass in the cylinder, the formed suppositories
The end plate is returned, and the process is repeated unti l all of
the suppository mass has been used.
➢The suppository mould of various types and sizes are available .
➢These moulds are generally made up of stainless steel, nickel copper alloy,
brass,aluminium and plastic.
➢The suppository mould can be opened longitudinally by removing the screw in
the centre of the plates.
➢The mould is opened at the time of cleaning,lubrication and removal of
➢The mould is cleaned by removing the plates and immersed in a hot water
➢After washing with water the mould is dried thoroughly.
Lubrication of mould:
➢The lubrication of the mould is essential in case of cocoa butter or glycerogelatin
base is used.
Cocoa butter –soft soap, glycerin, alcohol 90%
Glycerogelatin – liquid paraffin or arachis oil
➢The lubricant should be applied with the help of brush or swab made of gauze.
➢Exessive lubrication of the mould should be avoided.
➢The exess of lubricant can be drained by closingthe mould and put it in the
inverted position on a white tile.
Calibration of the mould
➢Generally a standard mould of 1 gm capacity is used.
➢The calibration of the mould is necessery because the size of the suppository
from a particular mould remains the same, but the the weight varies.
➢This is due to the reason, that the density of different bases and medicaments
➢So that the mould should be calibrated for individual base and medicament.
➢This is done by preparing a set of suppositories using the base, weighing the
suppositories and then find the avg,. Mean which will indicate the true capacity of
➢The volume of suppositoriy from a particular mould is uniform but its weight will
varies because of the densities of the medicaments usually differ from the densities
of the base with which the mould was calibrated.
➢To prepare the suppositories of uniform and accurate weight allowance must be
made for the change in density of the mass due to added medicaments.
➢For this purpose the displacement value of medicament is taken into
➢The quantity of drug which displaces one part of the base.
Determination of displacement value
➢Prepare and weigh 6 suppositories containing theobroma oil = a
➢Pepare and weigh 6 suppositories containing say 40%
medicament = b gm
➢Calculate the amount of theobroma oil present in medicated
suppositories = 60/100(b)= c gm
➢Calculate the amount of medicament present in the medicated
suppositories = 40/100(b)= d gm
➢Calculate the amount of theobroma oil displcaed by d gm of
medicament = (a-c) gm
➢Displacement value of the medicament = d/a-c
e.g. Determine the displacement value of a medicament in
theobroma oil suppositories containing 40% medicament,
prepared in 1 gm mould. The weight of 10 suppositories is 14.66
1. Wt.of 10 suppo. Cont. theobroma oil alone prepared in 1 gm
capacity mould=1 x 10=10 gm
2. Wt.of 10 suppo. Cont. 40% of medicament = 14.66gm
3. Amt. of theobroma oil present = 60/100 x 14.66=8.79 gm
4. Amt. of medicament present = 40/100 x 14.66= 5.86 gm
5. Amt. of theobroma oil displaced by 5.86 gm of medicament =
10 – 8.79 = 1.20 gm
Displacement value of medicament = 5.86/1.20 = 5 (Approx.)
Suppositories are usually packed in t in or aluminum, paper or
Poorly packed suppositories may give rise to staining, breakage
or deformation by melting.
Both cocoa butter and glycerinated gelatin suppositories stored
preferably in a refrigerator.
Polyethylene glycol suppositories stored at usual room
temperature without the requirement of refrigeration.
Evaluation of suppositories
Suppositories are evaluated for following parameters.
➢All the suppositories should be uniform in size and shape and should have
➢Suppositories are examined by visual inspection for cracks and pits on the
➢ when cut longitudinally , the internal and external surface should be same.
➢The strength of suppositories is considerd to assess the their ability during
➢The apparatus used for this called as breaking test apparatus, which contains a
double walled chamber in which water is pumped to maintain 37 oc temp. In
btween two walls of the chamber.
➢The inner chamber contains a disc for holding the suppositories, to which a rod
➢The other end of the rod contains a disc for holding the weights.
➢When weights are added (upto 200gms) at one minute time interval until the
➢All the weights used are added which gives the tensile strength.
➢Tensile strength – max. Load that a material can support without fracture.
➢Higher tensile strentgh indicate less will be tendency to fracture.
➢it is also called as macro melting range test
➢It is used to measure the time it takes to melt in body temp.
➢It is the time taken by the entire suppository to melt in a constant temperature
(37 oc) water bath.
➢The test is conducted using the tablet disintegration test apparatus in which
suppository is immersed in a constant water bath , finally the melting range is
➢It is the time taken to become solidify.
Uniformity of weight:
➢Weigh twenty suppositories individually and determine their avg. Weight.
➢Limit: not more than two individual weights should deviate from the avg.
Weight and morethan 5% and none deviates by morethan 10%.
➢This ia carried out by performing assays for different suppositories.
➢All suppositories should contain the same labelled quantity.
➢Take 10 suppositories and determine the active ingredients of each of the ten
suppositories by using a suitble analytical method.
Limit : if not more than one of the individual values thus obtained is outside the limit i.e. %
of the average value and none of them outside the limit i.e. 25% of the average value.
➢This test measures the time required for supository to liquify under conditions that
stimulate in vivo conditions , which also indicates the hardness of the base.
➢It is used for in vitro assessment of product efficacy.
➢Used to determine the rate of drug release from the suppository.
➢The rate of drug release from suppositories can be determined by using the
same apparatus used for dissolution rate of compressed tablets i,e. apparatus 1,2,
➢The test can be carried out by simple placement of the suppository in a beaker
containing the dissolution medium.