Developing suitable pharmaceutical dosage forms for G-REA herbal powder

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There is increasing awareness and general acceptability of the use of herbal drugs in today’s medical practice. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 80% of the world’s population depend on herbal medicines for their primary healthcare needs. However, the use of these medicines is sometimes hampered by lack of definite and complete information about their composition and efficacy. Again patient compliance is affected by the characteristics of the herbal medicine such as the taste, and the dosage form in which it is presented. This study sought to develop suitable pharmaceutical dosage forms for G-Rea herbal powder, a local herbal preparation which is available in the decoction form on the market, used to treat candidiasis. Extraction of powder with 70% ethanol gave a higher yield than extraction with water. Aqueous and ethanolic extracts of the powder showed antimicrobial activity against B. subtillis, Staph. aureus, and Candida albicans. Phytochemical screening showed the presence of alkaloids, tannins, glycosides, saponins etc. The ethanolic extract had good flow properties compared with the aqueous extract. Oral gels of the ethanolic extract were prepared using various concentrations of different gelling agents, namely 3%w/v xanthan gum, 10%w/v pregelatinised potato starch, 20%w/v hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), 2, 4 and 6%w/v carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC). Colour, odour, pH and viscosity and antimicrobial activities of the gels were tested for. It was seen that using 10%w/w of the extract, HPMC 20%w/v as a gelling agent and addition of white colour gave a stable formulation with good antimicrobial activity and good appearance. Pessaries of the extract were prepared using glycerogelatin and theobroma oil + 10%w/w beeswax as pessary bases. Pessaries had good appearance and passed disintegration and uniformity of weight tests. Pessaries with glycerogelatin base had good dissolution profiles. Capsules of the extract were prepared and they also passed disintegration and uniformity of weight tests, they also had good dissolution profile.
A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy.