Dusting Powders, Effervescent, Efflorescent and Hygroscopic Powders : Pharmaguideline -->

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Dusting Powders, Effervescent, Efflorescent and Hygroscopic Powders

Among their many uses, dusting powers serve as antiseptics, astringents, absorbents, antiperspirants and antipruritic.

Dusting powders

Generally, dusting powders fall into two categories:
  1. Surgical
  2. Medical
Surgical dusting powders are used mainly in body cavities and on burns and umbilical cords of infants as a result of major wounds, whereas medical dusting powders are used on superficial skin conditions. In contrast, medical dusting powders must be free of pathogenic microorganisms while surgical dusting powders must be sterilized before use. It is generally possible to prepare dusting powders by mixing two or more ingredients, of which starch, talc, or kaolin must be one element. The most common materials used are talc and kaolin because they are chemically inert. These ingredients are prone to contamination by pathogenic bacteria, however, so before using them they must be sterilized by dry heat method (160 degrees for 2 hours).

Among their many uses, dusting powers serve as antiseptics, astringents, absorbents, antiperspirants and antipruritic. Alternatively, dusting powder is delivered in aerosol containers with a sifter top. Although pressure aerosol containers are more expensive than sifter-top containers, they provide for easier application of the preparation. In addition to powder puffs and sterilized gauze pads, dusting powder can be applied using dusting powder puffs.

Powdered dusting powders are generally considered non-toxic, but exposure to fine powdered ingredients by infants might cause irritation to the lungs. When handling these preparations, proper care should be taken.

Example -

Rx, starch (powdered form) - 25gm

Zinc oxide (powdered form) - 20 gm

Purified talc (sterilized) - 50 gm

Salicylic acid (Powdered form) - 5 gm

Making of a powder

Direction - Apply two or three times a day on the affected parts.

Method - All ingredients should be ground into powder. The components talc, starch, zinc oxide, and salicylic acid should be weighed out. Combine in ascending order of their weights. After mixing again, pass the powder through a No.85 sieve. Sift again after mixing lightly. To protect powder from atmospheric contamination, transfer it into sifter-top containers.

Effervescent powders

In effervescent powders, acids and carbonates or hydrogen carbonates are generally combined with water to release carbon dioxide when exposed to it. The powders may be single-dose or multi-dose prepared. Water is usually used to dissolve or disperse these drugs before administration.

Storage - Powder effervescent should be stored tightly closed in a container.

It is possible to take a large dose of ingredients in one serving via an effervescent tablet or powder. Upon combining organic food acid with carbonate, it forms potassium, sodium, calcium or magnesium salts of the acid, which buffer the pH of the solution to make it easier on the stomach. Studies have demonstrated that ingredients in a variety of effervescent products can penetrate the bloodstream as quickly as 15 minutes after application.


Effervescent tablets make a pleasant tasting solution in soda, water, and fruit juice. The acid in the tablets comes from organic fruit. The stomach cannot break down solid compounds quickly, which delays or reduces absorption in conventional solid tablets. A liquid solution dissolves effervescent tablets, allowing the ingredients to be absorbed quickly, completely, and uniformly.


Conventional solid tablets or capsules dissolve slowly as they travel to the stomach after swallowing. Anatomical and physiological factors have an effect on the passage time in different people. Solid dosage forms can partially dissolve if they are passed through the body after a longer period of time, causing irritation to the mucous membranes. The ingredients of an effervescent tablet are evenly distributed in the solution, preventing concentrations that are high in one area. Acids and carbonates are present in a balanced ratio in the solution of the effervescent tablet. A buffer is formed by this balance.

Sudden increase in liquid intake

In adults, 1.5 - 2 litres the effervescent tablets also provide additional liquid intake, in addition to the nutritional value intended. As dissolved effervescent tablets support the daily liquid supply during times of excessive fluid loss from events such as intense physical activity, diarrhoea, or high temperatures, they are especially useful during events such as intense physical activity, diarrhoea, or summertime high temperatures. of liquid should be consumed daily.

Efflorescent powders

In the chemical world, efflorescent powders are crystallized powders containing water of hydration or crystallization, such as alums, atropine sulphate, citric acid, caffeine, and codeine. When exposed to a low-humidity environment, this water can be liberated either through manipulation or when exposed to manipulation. Powders will become pasty and sticky if this happens, or may even liquefy. In an anhydrous salt form of the drug, it is possible to keep in mind the differences between its potency during its anhydrous form and during its hydrated form. It is also possible to use a bulky powder when mixing the powders, as well as a light, non-compacting method for drying it.

Solids with efflorescent properties can spontaneously lose water when exposed to hydrated salts.

Solids that spontaneously lose water from salt hydrates are called efflorescent substances. Hydrogenated salts are inorganic salts that contain a definite ratio of molecules of water. The molecules of water in these salts can evaporate outside the container. In the presence of moisture in the air, the hydrate's aqueous vapor pressure is greater than that of the water vapor. Hydrated salts are among the most efflorescent substances. For example, Na2SO4.10H2O, Na2CO3, and FeSO4 are among the examples. Drying of cement is another reason for efflorescence.

Due to the loss of water, the hydrated salt becomes powdery, as it loses these water molecules. This will eventually cause the salt to solidify. Water becomes gaseous when this occurs.

Hygroscopic powders

The term hygroscopic means that these substances can absorb or adsorb water from their surroundings.

Those substances that adsorb or absorb water from the surroundings are known as hygroscopic substances. The water molecules in hygroscopic substances are absorbed into the crystal structure when water vapor is absorbed. As a consequence, the size of the substance increases. A change in hygroscopic properties can be seen in colour, boiling point, viscosity and others due to hygroscopic nature.

A salt is an example of a hygroscopic substance. ZnCl2, NaCl, and NaOH are among the many examples of zinc chloride. Additionally, there are some other commonly hygroscopic substances. Honey, silicone gel, germinating seeds, etc., are among these compounds.
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Ankur Choudhary is India's first professional pharmaceutical blogger, author and founder of pharmaguideline.com, a widely-read pharmaceutical blog since 2008. Sign-up for the free email updates for your daily dose of pharmaceutical tips.
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