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How Do Desiccants Work? 

Before healthcare products keep people safe, it’s necessary to keep the products themselves safe.  Whether oral solid dosage pharmaceuticals and supplements, drug delivery systems or diagnostic and medical devices, many healthcare products are susceptible to degradation and stability issues.   

Colorcon’s extensive line of moisture, oxygen, and odor control technologies along with a range of equilibrium stabilizers, help provide security inside healthcare packaging products. 

Desiccants are used to keep products dry and stable and are often incorporated into packaging for moisture-sensitive products.  Protecting products from moisture, odor and oxygen, they are essential in preserving and maintaining the potency, stability and shelf life of products, especially in the pharmaceutical and supplement markets.   

Moisture Protection 

Moisture is most often an enemy of pharmaceutical, supplement and healthcare products as it can affect physical and chemical stability.  Hydrolysis occurs when there is a reaction with a molecule that results in the cleaving of a chemical bond within the molecule.  Many drug forms and functional groups, particularly esters and amides, have a high level of reactivity to moisture, which can impact the drug’s chemical stability, physical stability, and metabolism. 

By controlling the relative humidity inside the package or delivery system, water content and water activity can be stabilized, and chemical hydrolysis reduced, preserving healthcare products within stability parameters throughout shelf life. 

Equilibrium Stabilizers 

Dry environment or humid environment? Sometimes you want the best of both worlds.  There are drug products that are susceptible to both excessive humidity and extreme dryness, so a standard desiccant won’t work.  

Discover EQUIS solutions to maintain equilibrium relative humidity between the admissible limits throughout shelf life. 

Oxygen Protection  

Oxygen, like moisture, is a major degradation mechanism of pharmaceuticals, particularly in liquid and solid formulation. By adequately limiting the ability of oxygen to make ingress into product packaging and absorbing or scavenging any headspace oxygen, oxidative reaction can be controlled, avoiding degradation reactions. 

Odor Control 

Undesired odors can result from drugs and associated chemical compounds, gas degradants, and naturally from herbals and health supplement.  This can impact the appeal of a drug product.  Discover solutions for odor neutralization, to absorb unwanted smell with activated carbon, or mask odors by emitting pleasant smells like orange or vanilla. 

Let us help you determine which type of desiccant and format is required for your formulation to ensure the best stability and shelf life for your finished products. 

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