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None have so far been described in pharmacopoeial monographs. Like methylcellulose, polyvinyl alcohol is a non-ionic thickener and emulsifying agent whose solutions dry to a flexible film. g. to thicken soap emulsions (1 per cent) and to make film-forming jellies (20 per cent in alcohol) for antiseptic drugs to be applied to the skin. Several other vinyl polymers have been recommended for pharmaceutical use as thickeners, including "Carbopol" 934 (Goodrich Chemical Company), a carboxy vinyl polymer which can be neutralized with various bases to give mucilages which are extremely stable.

0 Ether is used as a solvent in skin preparations, usually in conjunction with alcohol. It will dissolve pyroxylin, fixed oils and resins and is the main solvent for Collodions where, due to its low boiling point (35°C), it evaporates rapidly, leaving a film of colophony and pyroxylin plasticized with castor oil. The main disadvantages of ether are that it is highly inflammable and immiscible with water. As is shown by its use as a general anaesthetic, ether is not toxic; it is occasionally used in oral preparations but for therapy rather than as a vehicle (Spirit of Ether, 33 per cent ether; Chlorodyne, 3 per cent ether).

G. g. ). ). They are chemically incompatible with salts of many bases, due to precipitation of oleates and stéarates. X type. Historically, solubilization of natural oils by sulphation began about a hundred years ago, by treating vegetable oils with sulphuric acid. The best-known example of these early products is Turkey Red Oil, so-called from its use in the treatment of fabrics prior to mordant dyeing. e. neutralized with caustic soda. Its chemical constitution is not known precisely, but the main 52 AN INTRODUCTION TO PHARMACEUTICAL FORMULATION reaction is the formation of a sulphate with the hydroxyl group of ricinoleic acid.

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