Excipient classification and types

Word Excipient is derived from the Latin word Excipere means “To except” and simply means other than API, all other ingredients in a dosage form are excipients.

  • Some excipients have multiple functions e.g. starch is used as a binder, disintegrant and also as diluent.

Properties of Excipientd
Excipients should have the following properties

  • No Pharmacological effect.
  • Cost-effective.
  • Meet regulatory requirements.
  • Chemically and physiologically stable.
  • Commercially available.

Role of Excipients

  • Help in the manufacturing of the drug delivery system.
  • Enhance product stability e.g antimicrobial preservatives.
  • Help in Product identification e.g colourants.
  • Protect the dosage form from oxidation.
  • Improve the bioavailability of the drug.
  • Sweeteners modify the taste of medicine.

         Classification of Excipients

According to Route of Administration

  • Excipients for OSD
  • Excipients for Parenteral Products
  • Excipients for Topical Product.

                  According to Origin

Marine Origin

  • Agar
  • chitosan

Animal Origin

  • Lactose(Dairy industry byproduct)
  • Gelatin(Bones and collagen of animals)
  • Bee wax
  • Stearic acid
  • Shellac
  • Lanolin

Organic Chemicals

  • Sugars
  • Starch
  • Cellulose

Inorganic Chemicals

  • Calcium carbonate


  • PVP


  • HPC
  • HPMC

According to Function

  • Diluents
  • Disintegrants
  • Binders
  • Glidents
  • Lubricants
  • Colourants
  • Sweeteners
  • Preservatives
  • Suspending Agents
  • Flavouring Agents
  • Film former etc

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