Stability of pharmaceutical salts in solid oral dosage forms

Using pharmaceutical salts in solid dosage forms can raise stability concerns, especially salt dissociation which can adversely affect the product performance. Therefore, a thorough understanding of the salt instability encountered in solid state formulations is imperative to ensure the product quality. The present article uses the fundamental theory of acid base, ionic equilibrium, relationship of pH and solubility as a starting point to illustrate and interpret the salt formation and salt disproportionation in pharmaceutical systems. The criteria of selecting the optimal salt form and the underlying theory of salt formation and disproportionation are reviewed in detail. Factors influencing salt stability in solid dosage forms are scrutinized and discussed with the case studies. In addition, both commonly used and innovative strategies for preventing salt dissociations in formulation, on storage, and during manufacturing will be suggested herein. This article will provide formulation scientists and manufacturing engineers an insight into the mechanisms of salt disproportionation and salt formation, which can help them avoid and solve the instability issues of pharmaceutical salts in the product design.

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