POULTICES – PHARMACEUTICS II (Dispensing Pharmacy) D. Pharm 2nd year PDF Notes



Poultices are soft, viscous wet masses of solid substances applied to the skin for their fomentation action in order to provide relief from pain or reduce inflammation or to act as a provide counter- irritant.

Heavy kaolin is commonly included in the formula for preparing poultice because acts as a carrier of heat.

Poultice is applied to the affected part after heating it in a china dish with occasional stirring, until the heat is tolerated on the back of the hand.

The melted poultice is spread as thick film on a dressing material and applied as hot as the patient can bear it to the affected area.

Storage of Poultice:

Poultices are supplied in glass or plastic jar fitted with screw caps along with impermeable liners or close fitting slip-on lids.

Poultices are stored in a well closed container to prevent absorption of moisture by glycerine and loss of volatile constituents.

Preparation of Poultice

Prepare and dispense 100.0g of kaolin poultice B.P.C

Heavy kaolin, dried at 1000 and finely sifted       56.5 g

Boric acid, finely sifted                                          4.5 g

Thymol                                                                  0.05 g

Peppermint oil                                                      0.05 ml

Methyl salicylate                                                  0.2 ml

Glycerin                                                                38.7 g


1. Mix the heavy kaolin and boric acid with glycerine to form a smooth paste in a china dish.

2. Heat the mixture at 1200C for one hour on a sand bath with occasional stirring and allow to cool.

3. Dissolve the thymol in methyl salicylate and peppermint oil.

4. Add this solution to the cooled mixture and mix thoroughly.

5. Transfer it into a suitable container.

6. Tightly close the container to prevent absorption of moisture by the glycerine and loss of volatile constituents.

7. Heavy kaolin is heated at 1200C for one hour to kill the spores of clostridium tetani, which are often present in it. Kaolin poultice is never heated above 1200C to prevent the decomposition of glycerine.

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