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# Parenterals and Ophthalmic Preparations

Isotonic Solutions
• Definitions

## 1. Isotonic Solution: is a solution having the same osmotic pressure as a body

fluid. Ophthalmic, nasal, and parenteral solutions should be isotonic.
2. Hypotonic solution: is a solution of lower osmotic pressure than that of a body
fluid. These solutions lead to swelling and bursting of RBCs, which in turn
3. Hypertonic solution: is a solution having a higher osmotic pressure than that
of a body fluid. These solutions lead to shrinkage of the RBCs.
Isotonic solutions Calculations
I. Procedure for Calculation of Isotonic Solutions Using Sodium Chloride
Equivalents:
a. Calculate amount in grams of NaCl represented by the ingredients in

## c. Subtract the amount of NaCl represented by the ingredients in the prescription

(step#1) from the amount of NaCl needed to prepare isotonic solution (step#2)

## i.e. step # 2 – step # 1.

d. If an agent other than sodium chloride such as boric acid, dextrose, sodium or

## potassium nitrate is to be used to make a solution isotonic, divide the amount

1
of NaCl (step 3) by NaCl equivalent of the substance used to adjust Isotonicity

i.e. .
E − value

## M.Wt of NaCl i factor of substance

Sodium Chloride equivalent = *
i factor of NaCl M.Wt of substance

## 1. Zinc Sulfate ZnSO4 is a 2-ion electrolyte, dissociation 40% in a certain

concentration. Calculate its dissociation factor.

## 2. Zinc Chloride (ZnCl2) is a 3-ion electrolyte; dissociation 80% in a certain

concentration, calculate (i).

In general, we may use the following tabulated values in case of solutions of 80% or
higher concentrations:
(i)
Nonelectrolytes, slightly dissociated subs. 1
Substances that dissociate into two ions 1.8
Substances that dissociate into three ions 2.6
Substances that dissociate into four ions 3.4
Substances that dissociate into five ions 4.2

## Problem on calculating the E-value of a substance:

Papavarine HCl (mwt = 376) is a 2-ion electrolyte dissociating 80%. Calculate its
E-value (Sodium Chloride equivalent), where its dissociation factor (i) = 1.8
Problems on isotonic solutions calculations using the NaCl E-value:

## 1. How many grams of NaCl should be used in compounding the following

prescription:
Pilocarpine nitrate 0.3 g E =0.23
Sod. Chloride Q.S.
Make isotonic solution.

2
2. Oxytetracyline HCl 0.5% E = 0.12
Tetracaine HCl 2% solution 15 ml
Sodium Chloride Q.S.
Make isotonic solution
2% solution of Tetracaine HCl is isotonic. How many mls of 0.9% solution of
Sodium Chloride should be used?

## 3. Tetracaine HCl 0.5% E(0.18)

Epinephrine bitartarate 1:1000 solution 10 ml
Boric acid Q.S E(0.52)
Make isotonic solution
The solution of Epinephrine bitartarate (1:1000) is already isotonic. How many
grams of boric acid should be used in compounding the prescription?

## II. Isotonic Solutions Calculations using Freezing Point Data:

The calculations involved in preparing isotonic solutions may be made in terms of
data relating to the colligative properties “freezing point depression, osmotic pressure,
elevation of boiling point” of solutions. A comparison of freezing points for example
may be used for this purpose.

1. How many mg each of NaCl and dibucaine HCl are required to prepare 30 ml of a
1% solution of dibucaine HCl isotonic with tears?
From tables:
1% NaCl Tf = 0.58
1% Dibucaine HCl Tf = 0.08
Freezing point of blood and lachrymal fluid is – 0.52 oC.

## 2. How many grams of NaCl should be used in compounding the following

prescription:
Rx
Naphazoline Hcl 1%
NaCl Q.S.
Make isotonic solution. Use the freezing point depression method.

3
Tf blood = 0.52
Tf 1% NaCl = 0.58
Tf 1% Naphazoline HCl = 0.16

## III. Isotonic Solutions Calculations using White-Vincent Method:

Computing tonicity involves the addition of water to a specified amount of drug
to make isotonic solution, followed by the addition of an isotonic buffered diluting
vehicle to bring the solution to the final volume.

V = W * E * 111.1
Where:
W = grams of drug.
E = sodium chloride equivalent (tabulated).
V = volume in ml of isotonic solution that may be prepared by mixing drug with water.

Example:
Make the following solution isotonic with respect to membrane. Provided that you have
isotonic diluting solution:
Phenacaine HCl 0.06 g (E 0.2)
Boric acid 0.3 g (E 0.52)
Sterilized water to 100 ml