-The Function Of Silica Gel Pack With Drugs
Most drugs that come in a cup always contain a small white bag containing many small white pebbles. In the bag is the inscription ‘silica gel- do not swallow.’ This same bag is also found in some drugs that come in pack and even in some electronics. So what is the work of silica gel? Let us find out.
Function Of Silica Gel
Silica gel may have many functions in different industries. However, the purpose of silica gel in drugs is to protect the drug from moisture. How you may ask. Here is all you need to know.
Moisture is very dangerous to drug stability. It makes many drugs lose their efficacy before hitting their shelf life. Moisture can also cause medication error due to altered dose, misleading result or change the appearance of the drug. This is because most drugs are moisture sensitive or thermolabile.
To protect drugs from moisture, they are packed in airtight containers or sachet.
But moisture can penetrate most containers through their body. This calls for another approach. The only cheap, viable solution is to pack the drugs with an adsorbent.
Silica gel is a hygroscopic material capable of absorbing moisture. There are many materials that are desiccant and can also do the same function.
Advantages Of Silica Gel:
1. Small: many other desiccants that are capable of absorbing moisture are big. Silica gel is small with a large surface area capable of absorbing up to 36 percent of their own weight of moisture without changing structure. The small size makes it suitable to be packed with small products.
2. Odour: It is odourless and does not impact any chemical in the product.
3. Appearance: it suits the requirement for drugs. Appearance of drugs matters to adherence hence packing a drug with an adsorbent with good appearance is important. Silica gel has a glass like appearance which is appealing to behold.
The silica gel is meant to help protect the drug from moisture from the manufacturing company to when it is bought by the retailer. Immediately the cup is opened, the silica gel can be discarded except otherwise stated. The moisture that enters the container from now on will not degrade the drug before its shelf life.