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An excipient is a dormant substance that is used as carrier for a drug or an active substance. Excipients also ensure that the drug is taken to the blood by assisting in the process of osmosis. Lactose, cellulose and gelatin are all types of excipient drugs.

Excipients have long been used in the manufacturing of medications, including those used in addiction treatment. They ensure that medications are safe, reliable, and suitable for consumption. Common excipients found in addiction treatment medications include fillers like lactose or cellulose, binders to hold tablets together, disintegrants to help tablets break down, and coloring agents.

Excipient in Prescription Drug Addiction

Prescription drug abuse is a significant issue globally, particularly with psychoactive drugs that offer euphoric or anxiety-reducing effects. These substances, including opioids, benzodiazepines, stimulants, and depressants, activate the brain’s reward circuits, leading to misuse, addiction, and dependence in some individuals. Not just the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) themselves, but also the pharmaceutical formulation and excipients play a important role in the potential for drug abuse. These components affect the drug’s production, shelf life, release characteristics, bioavailability, and even its appearance and taste. Understanding these factors is essential in addressing prescription drug abuse, as they can influence the likelihood of illicit use and the approach to prescribing medications to manage or prevent abuse. Different pharmaceutical forms available on the market also need to be considered in efforts to curb misuse and assist in recovery efforts.

Types of Excipient

Excipients play a important role in pharmaceutical formulations, ensuring medications are delivered to patients effectively. Unlike the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) that targets the disease, excipients don’t cure but are essential for creating a usable drug form. They can be categorized based on their function in the medication:

  1. Constitutive Excipients: These include diluents (like lactose, microcrystalline cellulose, mannitol, starch, sorbitol) that add bulk to solid medications, and moisture absorbents (such as vegetable carbon, starch, glycerin) to manage moisture levels.
  2. Production Aids: These are used in the manufacturing process, including lubricants (e.g., stearic acid) to prevent sticking, binders (like gums and gelatin) to hold ingredients together, non-stick agents (talc), glidants (such as silica derivatives) to improve powder flow, surfactants (e.g., sodium lauryl sulfate) to stabilize liquid preparations, and viscosifiers to adjust the thickness of suspensions and emulsions.
  3. Release Agents: Excipients like disintegrants (starch, alginates) facilitate the breakdown of tablets and capsules, while film-forming polymers (cellulosic derivatives) and wetting agents help control the release of APIs.
  4. Other Roles: Include preservation (with agents like benzalkonium and parabens), as well as flavoring and sweetening agents (sucrose, saccharin) to make medications more palatable.

You may come across different terminologies related to excipients. For instance, when discussing medications used in opioid addiction treatment, you may hear about methadone or buprenorphine tablets, which contain certain excipients to form a solid dosage form. These tablets are designed to release the active ingredient slowly, keeping cravings and withdrawal symptoms at bay.

It’s important to note that not all medications used in addiction treatment contain excipients. Some medications, such as injectable forms, may not require these inactive substances.

    Addiction and Mental Health

    Treatment Services

    Founded in 2008, WeDoRecover has evolved from an advisory service for addiction treatment into a comprehensive provider of care, following its 2019 merger with Changes Addiction Rehab in Johannesburg. Specializing in connecting patients to top-tier addiction treatment centers in the UK, South Africa, and Thailand, WeDoRecover supports individuals globally, including those from the United Arab Emirates and Europe. Accepting both South African medical aid and international health insurance, the organization facilitates access to high-quality treatment for substance and alcohol use disorders, offering individualized care that addresses the physical, mental, and social needs of patients.

    Our team, led by Gareth Carter, offers empathetic and professional support, guiding you through every step of the treatment process. Whether you're in South Africa or abroad, our acceptance of various insurance plans makes quality care accessible, providing a platform for lasting recovery and a healthier future.

    Inpatient Rehab

    Our rehab care is a good option if you are at risk of experiencing strong withdrawal symptoms when you try stop a substance. This rehab option would also be recommended if you have experienced recurrent relapses or if you have tried a less-intensive treatment without success.


    If you're committed to your sobriety but cannot take a break from your daily duties for an inpatient program. Outpatient rehab treatment might suit you well if you are looking for a less restricted format for addiction treatment or simply need help with mental health.


    Therapy can be good step towards healing and self-discovery. If you need support without disrupting your routine, therapy offers a flexible solution for anyone wishing to enhance their mental well-being or work through personal issues in a supportive, confidential environment.

    Mental Health

    Are you having persistent feelings of being swamped, sad or have sudden surges of anger or intense emotional outbursts? These are warning signs of unresolved trauma mental health. A simple assesment by a mental health expert could provide valuable insights into your recovery.

    Finding the right rehab close to you is simple with WeDoRecover. Our network includes the finest rehab centers, ensuring personalised, quality care for your recovery needs. Let Gareth Carter and our empathetic team help guide you to a center that feels right for you, offering expert care and support. Start your healing today by choosing a rehab that's not just close to you, but also that truly cares about your loved ones recovery.

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