The Pharmaceutics and Compounding Laboratory
Lozenges and Medication Sticks

Lozenges

Lozenges are solid preparations that are intended to dissolve or disintegrate slowly in the mouth. They contain one or more medicaments usually in a flavored, sweetened base. Lozenges are most often used for localized effects in the mouth. They can also be used for systemic effect if the drug is well absorbed through the buccal lining or is swallowed. More traditional drugs used in this dosage form include phenol, sodium phenolate, benzocaine, and cetylpyridinium chloride. Newer drugs include analgesics, anesthetics, antiseptics, antimicrobials, antitussives, anti-nausants, and decongestants.

Lozenges have the advantage of:

  1. being easy to administer to pediatric and geriatric patients.
  2. having formulas that are easy to change and can be patient specific.
  3. keeping the drug in contact with the oral cavity for an extended period of time.

One disadvantage of using a "gummy-type" lozenge with children is they may perceive it as candy and not a serious dosage form.

Lozenges can be made by molding or by compression. The name troche is applied to compressed lozenges. But in lay language, lozenge and troche are used interchangeably. Commercial lozenges are made by compression; they are harder than ordinary tablets so they will slowly dissolve or disintegrate. Compounded lozenges can be prepared by molding mixtures of ingredients containing:

  • sugars to form a hard lozenge
  • polyethylene glycol (PEG) to form a soft lozenge
  • gelatin to form a chewable lozenge