On The Dispensing Of Capsules

For this purpose the drugs used are powdered finely and placed in the capsule by the aid of a spatula or of a patent capsule filler after being accurately subdivided. The patent filler consists of a stand which supports the capsules in an upright position and a sliding funnel, riding over the base, through which the powder is poured into each capsule. Capsules are made of several sizes, holding from one to ten grains of powdered quinine and more of the denser drugs. All drugs should be reduced to powder before being dispensed in this way.

A second method is to proceed in the same manner as in the making of pills up to the point of the division of the mass when the sections instead of being moulded into pills are inserted into the capsule after being rolled to the proper diameter.

Oils, Balsams, and Alcoholic Solutions may be dispensed in this way but care must be taken to seal the cover on by moistening the base of the capsule with a brush dipped in water at the part which is covered by the lid before this is placed in position. This effectually prevents the contents finding their way out and air from entering. Aqueous fluids may not be given in this manner unless administered at once. Soft capsules are made and filled by the large manufacturers and are not readily dispensed by hand unless special apparatus is available.

In dispensing capsules by hand the skin must be perfectly dry otherwise the fingers will soften the outside of the capsule to which any powders will adhere, making an unsightly product and giving their unpleasant taste to the gelatin. The filled capsule should still possess its lustre and be quite free of the taste of the enclosed medicine.

On The Dispensing Of Cachets

This is perhaps the most elegants way of administering powders of moderate bulk, it being possible to enclose about double as much as by capsule. As in the dispensing of dry powders by capsule it is first necessary to convert everything to powder form. To turn out cachets properly requires the use of a cachet machine though a serviceable substitute may be made by using two bottles having wide mouths of sufficient inside diameter to hold a half-cachet. The powder is placed in one half being careful not to allow any to fall upon the projecting edge. The edge of the other half is now moistened with a brush dipped in water, and a very little having been applied the empty half is inverted over theother and with the application of slight pressure becomes adherent. The use of the machine permits the same procedure to be accomplished much more rapidly. Fluids and deliquescent drugs may not be dispensed in this manner. As there are several sizes of cachets available that best suited to the bulk of the medicine should be selected.

On The Dispensing Of Powders

Drugs selected for dispensing in powders are commonly those with little unpleasant taste. As we have seen nauseous powders are best given in capsules or cachets. Deliquescent drugs or those affected deleteriously by the atmosphere should not be dispensed unless wrapped in oiled paper.

Every remedy should be reduced to fine powder, and if several are to be mixed this is to be done in the usual order, beginning with those of smallest bulk and gradually adding those which are larger. Powders may be triturated in a mortar with the pestle if light trituration is used: - hard pressure is apt to cause caking making the resulting powder difficult to swallow.

A very useful way to obtain the thorough admixture of powders is to pass them repeatedly through a fine sieve. If the total quantity is small, powders may be readily and well mixed by triturating them together upon a piece of paper with a spatula and then passing them once through a sieve. The division of powders may be done with the spatula, equality in size being determined by the aid of the eye, or more exactly each powder may be weighed.

Powder papers should be of equal size and when folded of the same width and length, this being determined by the size of the box in which they are to be placed. The folding over of the ends should be the same in each so as to secure absolute uniformity.

On Suppositories, Bougies, Pessaries

The active agent is reduced to a powder or to a paste and incorporated with the Cocoa Butter which has been melted at a low temperature (preferably on a water bath). When at the point of congealing and while still possible to pour the mixture it is run into metal moulds which have been previously cooled on ice and moistened with Soap Liniment, or a fixed oil such as Almond or Olive Oil. The mould is again placed on the ice until the product has become solid when the suppositories are removed and may then be placed in impervious boxes or those lined with either tin foil or paraffined paper.

Suppositories may likewise be made by hand, by allowing the mixture to become cooled to that point where it is plastic but not hard, when the mass is rapidly moulded on a pill tile into conical shapes of definite weight. A third method is to make paper cones which having been oiled are placed, open end up, in sand or linseed meal. The melted mass is now poured into the cones and the vessel containing them is set aside in a cool place. When solid the suppositories are removed from the paper holders and boxed.

In a large way they are manufactured by a special machine which by pressure forces the mixed ingredients, prepared in the cold, into moulds of such shape as may suit the need of the prescriber. This is called the "Cold Method."

Pessaries, Bougies and some Rectal Suppositories are best made with a gelatin base, from a mixture of gelatin and glycerin. This is not useful in the case of Tannic and Carbolic Acids nor with Ichthyol.

Essential Oils, as Oil of Eucalyptus, are best made up with the addition of a small quantity of white wax to the Cacao Butter. About the same weight of wax as of the oil is necessary to make a firm suppository. Wax may be added also in very warm weather.

Heavy Salts such as Acetate of Lead tend when the suppository is made by heat to gravitate during the cooling to the apex where it forms a hard brittle mass. For these the method of making by hand is perhaps the most useful.