How do drug preservatives work? Understand the mechanism

How do drug preservatives work? Understand the mechanism

Medicinal products contain a variety of excipients for a variety of purposes, including stabilizing, absorption, enhancing consumption, administration, and improving appearance. Similarly, drug preservatives and cosmetics preservatives are substances (can be natural or chemical) added to a pharmaceutical products to keep them from degrading physically, chemically, or biologically

Most pharmaceutical products contain water or water-based solvent present in semisolid dosage forms. Having water around increases the possibility of microbial growth and contamination. In addition, the primary packaging material in direct contact with the formulation may interact or cause contamination during manufacturing and packaging.

Hence, it is necessary to add preservatives to semisolid dosage forms to prevent microbial growth and contamination. That is why most antimicrobial preservatives are widely used in the pharma industry. These preservatives prohibit microbial proliferation without impairing the performance or efficacy of the product.

In addition to being nontoxic and non-sensitizing, they also do not disturb the composition of API, nor interact nor affect the formulation. They also remain compatible with the packaging and product. But how do they work?

Working with drug preservatives

In the preparation of multiple doses, antimicrobial preservatives are used to reduce initial microbial loads, suppress their proliferation, or prevent new microbial contamination. Preservatives used in pharmaceutical formulations do not contain levels of preservatives that are toxic to humans. The structure of various antimicrobial preservatives play an important role in this stage.

Organic aromatic compounds make up the majority of the product. A variety of mechanisms are used by them to inhibit the growth and multiplication of microorganisms.

A few examples are mentioned below:

A phenol and a chlorinated phenol work by denaturing cytoplasmic membranes.

Proteins are denatured by benzoic acid and parabens.

Membranes are broken down by alcohols and quaternary salts.

Role of essential oils as preservatives

Owing to this, the preservatives should be selected based on their properties, dosage forms, solubility, and amounts.

Although new chemicals are used in the formulation, people throughout the world traditionally use essential oils as natural preservatives due to their antibacterial and antifungal properties.

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