Preparation of Elixirs

Preparation of Elixirs

Elixirs are defined as clear, aromatic, sweetened, hydroalcoholic liquids intended for oral use.


• They provide a palatable means of administering potent or nauseous drugs. 

• Elixirs are less sweet and less viscous then syrup may contain less or no sucrose. 

• Elixirs are more stable than syrups and hence preferred over syrup. 

• Elixirs contain 4-40% of alcohol (ethanol). 

• They may contain glycerin and syrup for increasing the solubility of medicaments or for sweetening purposes. 

• Elixirs may also contain suitable flavoring and coloring agents. 

• Preservatives are not needed in elixirs as the alcohol content is sufficient to act as a preservative. 

Types of Elixirs

Non-medicated: Not contain medicament and used as a flavoring agent.  For example: Aromatic elixir. 

Medicated: These contain potent drugs such as antibiotics, antihistamines, and sedatives.

Method of Preparation 

• Elixirs are prepared by simple dissolution with agitation or by mixing two or more liquids. 

• Ingredients are dissolved in their respective solvents. For example alcohol-soluble ingredients in alcohol and water soluble in water. 

• Alcoholic strength is maintained by adding the aqueous solution to the alcoholic solution. 

• The mixture is then made up to the desired volume (q.s.). 

• At this stage the product may not be clear due to the separation of some of the flavoring agents because the alcoholic strength is reduced. 

• Then elixir is allowed to stand for some time here the oil globules start precipitating. 

• Then elixir is filtered. 

• Talc can be added to absorb the excess of oils. 

• Filtration gives a clear product. 

Formulation of Elixir 

1. Vehicles: The elixirs are usually prepared by using water, alcohol, glycerin, sorbitol, and propylene glycol. Certain oils are easily soluble in alcohol where alcohol is used as cosolvent. 30-40% of alcohol may be used to make a clear solution. 

2. Adjuncts 

(a) Chemical stabilizer: Various chemicals or special solvents are used in many elixirs to make suitable elixirs. E.g. For neomycin elixir – citric acid is added to adjust pH. 

(b) Colouring agent: Amaranth, and compound tartrazine dyes are used for colouring purposes. 

(c) Flavouring agent: Black currant syrup, raspberry syrup, lemon syrup, etc. 

(d) Preservatives: Alcohol 20% or more propylene glycol or glycerol as a vehicle is used as a preservative. Chloroform desirable strength, benzoic acid may also be used.

3. Container: Elixirs are dispensed in well-filled, well-closed air-tight, or glass bottles having screw caps.


4. Storage: Store in a cool and dry place, protected from sunlight. 

Formula of Elixirs


Lemon oil - 0.025 ml 

Syrup - 375 ml 

Talc - 30 gm 

Purified water - q.s. to 1000 ml

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