A spoonful of foam helps the medicine go down

By Katrina Megget

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Dow chemical company Drug delivery technology Pharmacology Medicine

Is it a liquid? Is it a solid?………No, it's 'foam-on-a-spoon'.

The drug delivery technology is a first of its kind, according to its makers at The Dow Chemical Company. And its potential for the paediatric and geriatric markets is set to be promising. "A parent can deliver medicine to a child without worrying about spilling and staining associated with typical coloured liquid medicines. The same is true for elderly patients and even pets that need medications,"​ The Dow Chemical Company technical services leader Paul Sheskey told in-PharmaTechnologist.com. "Foam-on-a-spoon was developed to aid the dispensing of liquid preparations. Dow scientists were looking for a fast dissolving drug delivery system that would be easier to administer to people with difficulty taking tablets and capsules." ​ The foam-on-a-spoon - also known as FOAS - drug delivery technology works by incorporating air into a liquid formulation using a foam dispenser. "When a foamed formulation is dispensed onto a spoon, the yield stress imparts to the fluid a significant spill-resistance,"​ Sheskey said. The company uses a foam dispenser made by Rexam Airspray, which is currently used in many applications including hair, skin care, liquid soaps and sun screens. Methylcellulose was used as the foaming agent. The technology itself is described by Sheskey as a "natural progression"​ from the Company's Foam Granulation Technology, which combines hypromellose with air to enhance tablet production while using less water than traditional wet granulation processing. "Potential advantages for this technology include product differentiation [and] line extension, convenience because no water is required, fast dissolution, and spill resistance,"​ Sheskey said. The company has so far developed three prototypes using the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) acetaminophen, diphenhydramine hydrochloride, and dextromethorphan hydrobromide; though Sheskey said any API soluble in a liquid vehicle could be delivered this way. "Typical uses would include analgesics, cough-cold preparations, and allergy medications." ​ Sheskey said it was possible to look into developing a modified release profile for foam formulations, though the company was yet to investigate this. The US-based company presented its findings at the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) conference in San Diego this month.

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