Evaluation and comparison of the neutralizing capacities of pharmaceutical solid and liquid dosage forms of antacid drugs in Uganda
Ekado, Branham Joshua
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Antacids are arguably the most used medications in attaining fast symptomatic solace from indigestion (dyspepsia) and heartburn, owing to their easier access as over the counter (OTC) drugs. These drugs are available in different formulations and are solely (but not limited to) available in liquid and solid forms. They are weak bases that achieve their role by neutralizing gastric acid thereby forming neutral salts. This study was conducted to establish the potency of both the liquid and solid dosage forms of the antacid drugs available on the Ugandan market, by evaluating how much of the acid each drug could neutralize invitro. Indirect titration (back titration) was the technique employed in determining the acid neutralizing capacities of the selected drugs which included Maaga (magnesium trisilicate BP ant-acid suspension), Gaviscon liquid (peppermint), Sodium bicarbonate capsule, Gestid tablet, Gaviscon double action tablet, compound magnesium trisilicate tablets, and ENO fruit salt (two samples of different batch numbers). Maaga antacid suspension had the highest ANC (16.55 moles of acid neutralized/dose), more than thirty-fold that of ENO powder sample 2, which was 0.5 moles of acid neutralized/dose. Ironically, ENO sample 1 had an appreciable ANC (9.00 moles of acid neutralized/dose) as opposed to that of sample 2. The ANCs of the other antacids were 10.80, 10.35, 8.70, 4.50, 3.60 moles of acid neutralized/dose for Gaviscon liquid, compound magnesium trisilicate tablets, Gestid tablet, Gaviscon double action tablet, Sodium bicarbonate capsule respectively. The high ANC of Maaga suspension can be attributed to its active ingredients which included magnesium trisilicate (500mg), light magnesium carbonate (500mg) and sodium bicarbonate (500mg). ENO sample 2’s unusual low ANC could be due to little or no active ingredients as for that particular batch. Liquid antacids had a higher potency than their solid antacid counterparts. Different antacids have varying acid neutralizing capacities and therefore the indication of their potencies in terms of ANC on the leaflets of the drugs is highly recommended to serve as a reliable basis in choosing the best antacid formulation by prescribing physicians and also patients.