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Feb-18-Excipients.pdf (402 KB)

Complementary medicines are comprised of a combination of ingredients where the active ingredients are biologically active, and the excipients are ideally inert. Excipients have well-defined roles in the development of dosage forms and are added to the formulation to improve the manufacturing, stability and bioavailability of the finished product. Many of these excipients possess more than one function which minimises the number of excipients required in the formulation hence, reducing the risk of possible interactions between them.

Role of Excipients



  • Anti-adherents
  • Antioxidants
  • Binders
  • Coatings
  • Colours
  • Diluents
  • Disintegrants
  • Flavours
  • Glidants
  • Lubricants

Ideal Characteristics

  • Inert
  •  No effect on the bioavailability of the active ingredient
  • Physiologically and chemically stable
  • Bacteria-free
  • Low cost
  • Meet regulatory standards


  • Improves the manufacturing process
  • Improves the stability
  • Improves the bioavailability


  • Risk of possible interactions


Author: Michelle Nguyen
February 2018
Vitex Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd