Ointment bases

Author: Prof. Dr. med. Peter Altmeyer

Our authors

Last updated on: 29.10.2020

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Definition
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Basics used in the extemporaneous formulation (see also tables 1 and 2).

Preparations
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Ointment base, washable(R213)

Tables
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Composition of the most important ointment bases

Basis

Water

Alcohol

Solid

Grease

Emulsifier

Gel Former

Moisturizing agent

Hydrophobic ointments

++++

Water absorbing ointments

+

++++

W/O emulsifier

Hydrophilic ointments

++++

Hydrophobic creams

++

++

W/O emulsifier

Ambiphilic creams

++

++

W/O emulsifier, O/W emulsifier

Hydrophilic creams

++

++

O/W emulsifier, W/O stabilizer

+

Lotions

+++

+

O/W emulsifier, W/O stabilizer

+

Hydrophilic gels

++++

+

+

Aqueous solutions

++++

Alcoholic solutions

++++

Shaking mixes

++

(+)

++

(+)

+

Pastes

++

++

Soft pastes

+

+++

Powder

++++


Physical properties of the most important ointment bases

Basis

Mixable with water

Mixable with grease

Washability

Hydrophobic ointments

(+)

+

Water absorbing ointments

+

+

Hydrophilic ointments

+

+

+

Hydophobic creams

+

+

Ambiphilic creams

+

+

+

Hydrophilic creams

(+)

+

+

Lotions

+

(+)

+

Hydrophilic gels

+

+

Aqueous solutions

+

+

Alcoholic solutions

+

+

+

Shaking mixes

+

+

Pastes

+

if containing emulsifiers

Powder

+

+

(+)


Ointment base

Examples

Non-ionic type

Hydrocarbon gels

Vaseline, white Ph. Eur. 4.05

Vaseline, yellow Ph. Eur. 4.00

Hydrophobic base gel DAB

W/O absorption ointments

Wool Wax Alcohol Ointment DAB 2003

Ungt. sorbitansesquioleati

Emulsifying eye ointment (NRF 15.20.)

W/O creams

Water-based wool wax alcohol ointment DAB 2003

Hydrophobic base cream DAC (NRF 11.104.)

Creamor sorbitansesquioleati

Creamor Vaselini MB 59

Anionic type

O/W absorption ointment

Hydrophilic ointment DAB 2003 (Ungt. emulsific.)

O/W creams

Hydrophilic ointment containing water DAB 2003 (Ungt. emulsif. aq.)

Anionic hydrophilic cream SR (NRF p.27.)

Hydrous liniment SR (NRF 11.93.)

Hydro gels

Carmelless sodium gel DAB 2003

Hydrous carbomer gel DAB 2003

2-Propanol Carbomer Gel DAB 2003

Non-ionic type

Ambiphilic cream

Base Cream DAC

O/W absorption ointments

Ungt. Cordes

O/W creams

Non-ionic hydrophilic cream DAB 2003

Non-ionic hydrophilic cream SR (NRF p.27.)

Nonionic hydrous liniment (NRF 11.92.)

O/W lotion

Hydrophilic skin emulsion base (NRF p.25.)

Hydro-Gel

Hydroxyethylcellulose gel DAB 2003


Basic type according to chemical behaviour towards water and fats

Alternative designation for basic type

Examples

Fat content [%].

Water content [%].

Hydrophobic ointments

Hydrocarbon gels

Vaseline, white Ph. Eur 4.05

100

0

Vaseline, yellow Ph. Eur. 4.00

100

0

Simple eye ointment DAC

100

0

Hydrophilic ointments

PEG ointments

Macrogol Ointment DAC

0

0

Hydrophobic gels

Polyethylene Oleo Gel

Hydrophobic base gel DAC

95

0

Water absorbing ointments

W/O absorption ointments

Woolwax alcohol ointment DAB (= Eucerin. anhydric.)

93,5

0

Ungt. sorbitansesquioleati

90

Emulsifying eye ointment (NRF 15.20.)

99,0

0

O/W absorption ointments

Hydrophilic ointment DAB (Ungt. emulsificans)

70

0

Ungt. Cordes

not known

0

Hydrophobic creams

W/O creams

Soft ointment (Ungt. molle) DAC 2001

57,5

10

Lanolin DAB

80

20

Water-containing wool wax alcohol ointment DAB (= Eucerin cum aqua)

46,75

50

Hydrous wool wax alcohol ointment pH5 (NRF 11.32.)

42,4

54,2

Hydrophobic base cream DAC (NRF 11.104.)

27

64,3

quasi-W/O creams

Cooling Ointment (Ungt. leniens) DAB

60

25

Ambiphilic creams

Base Cream DAC

33

40

Hydrophilic creams

O/W creams

Hydrophilic ointment containing water DAB (Ungt. emulsif. aq.)

21

70

Nonionic hydrophilic cream DAB

25

50

Non-ionic hydrophilic cream SR (NRF p.26.)

10

63,8

Nonionic hydrous liniment (NRF 11.92.)

5

81,8

Anionic hydrophilic cream SR (NRF p.27.)

10

63,8

Hydrous liniment SR (NRF 11.93.)

5

81,8

Hydrophilic lotions

O/W lotions

Hydrophilic skin emulsion base (NRF p.25.)

5

85

Cetomacrogol Lotion FN

6

88

Basis Cordes RK/Water-Lotio [20/80]

20

80

Hydrophilic gels

Hydro-Gels

Hydroxyethyl cellulose gel DAB

0

87,5

Carmelless sodium gel DAB

0

85

Hydrous Carbomer Gel DAB

0

96,5

2-propanol containing carbomer gel DAB

0

73,5

Hydrophilic pastes

Aqueous zinc oxide paste FH Z.3

Hydrophilic zinc oxide paste 40% with ammonium bituminosulfonate 5% (NRF 11.108.)

2,0

52,3

Lipophilic pastes, hard

Zinc paste DAB

50

0

Lipophilic pastes, soft

Soft zinc paste DAB

60

0

Lipophilic pastes, liquid

Zinc oil (NRF 11.20.)

50

0


Foundation/External

Examples

Disease stage

Powder

acute

Shaking mixture

unstabilised

Lotio alba aquosa DAC or skin coloured (NRF 11.22.)

acute

Lotio alba spirituosa (NRF 11.3.)

stabilized

Emulsion zinc oxide shaking mixture (NRF 11.49.)

acute

Aqueous zinc oxide paste FH Z.3

Hydrophilic paste (3-phase paste)

Hydrophilic zinc oxide paste 40% with ammonium bituminosulfonate 5% (NRF 11.108.)

acute

Solution

aqueous (possibly with gel former) or alcoholic (possibly with gel former)

acute

Hydrogel

nonionic

Hydroxyethyl cellulose gel DAB

acute

anionic

Carmelless sodium gel DAB

Hydrous Carbomer Gel DAB

2-propanol containing carbomer gel DAB

O/W milk

nonionic

Hydrophilic skin emulsion base (NRF p.25.)

subacute

Cetomacrogol lotio FN

anionic

Tegin-Lotio (own regulation)

O/W cream

anionic

Ungt. emulsif. aq. DAB

subacute

Anionic hydrophilic cream SR (NRF p.27.)

Hydrous liniment SR (NRF 11.93.)

non-ionic

Nonionic hydrophilic cream DAB

Non-ionic hydrophilic cream SR (NRF p.26.)

Nonionic hydrous liniment (NRF 11.92.)

Ambiphilic cream

Base Cream DAC

subacute

Quasi W/O cream

Cooling Ointment DAB

subacute

O/W absorption ointment

anionic

Ungt. emulsif. DAB

subacute

nonionic

Ungt. Cordes

W/O cream

with wool wax

Ungt. alcohol. lanae aquos. DAB

chronic

eucerin cum aqua

Lanolin DAB

without wool wax

Hydrophobic base cream DAC (NRF 11.104.)

Creamor sorbitansesquioleati

Cremor vaselini MB 59

W/O absorption ointment

with wool wax

Ungt. alcohol. lanae DAB

chronic

without wool wax

Ungt. sorbitansesquioleati

Emulsifying eye ointment (NRF 15.20.)

Lipophilic Paste

hard

Zinc paste DAB (2-phase paste)

chronic

Zinc oxide starch absorption ointment ZL (2-phase paste)

soft

soft zinc oxide paste DAB (2-phase paste)

liquid

Oleum Zinci (NRF 11.20.)

Hydrocarbon and lipo gels

White Vaseline Ph. Eur. 4.05

chronic

Simple eye ointment DAC

Hydrophobic base gel DAC (Oleo-Gel)

Lard DAB (Lipogel)


Name

Use in ointment bases

Bentonite Ph. Eur. 4.00

can be used as hydrogel former in some gels and shaking mixtures

can be used as oleogel former in some W/O emulsions

Sodium alginate Ph. Eur. 4.00

can be used as hydrogel former in some gels

Sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (= Carmellose sodium Ph. Eur. 4.00)

can be used in many gels as hydrogel former

Sodium cetylstearylsulfate Ph. Eur. 4.00

as emulsifying cetylstearyl alcohol (type A) Ph. Eur. 4.00 can be used (e.g. in Lanette N)

Sodium dodecyl sulphate or sodium lauryl sulphate Ph. Eur. 4.00

as emulsifying cetylstearyl alcohol (type B) Ph. Eur. 4.00 can be used

Potassium or sodium stearate Ph. Helvet.

can be used as "self-emulsifying glycerol monostearate" (= O/W complex emulsifier) (e.g. Tegin)

Polyacrylates (= carbomers Ph. Eur. 4.00)

can be used in many gels and O/W emulsions as hydrogel former

Triethanolamine stearate

can be used in stearate creams / lotions as O/W emulsifier

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Last updated on: 29.10.2020