How To Protect Light Sensitive Products

Many pharmaceutical products are sensitive to light and it is therefore crucial that they are protected from direct sunlight and certain spectrums of artificial light. One way to do this is by using brown colored light, especially during the manufacturing process.

There are many different chemicals that are sensitive to light, and can degrade if exposed to certain light spectrums. Not only can this lead to the product being less effective, the degradation of the chemicals can lead to impurities in the product, and result in the product failing quality standards. More importantly, these impurities may also have negative effects on a patient’s health.

Active pharmaceutical products (APIs) and other light sensitive products should be kept out of direct sunlight and bright artificial at all times, including during the distribution process. The light can not only break down the molecules, but also act to catalyse reactions between the different chemicals in the product, which can lead to the formation of new compounds and impurities.

This is because light carries energy, with the blue visible light and the invisible UV light carrying more energy than red light. It is the higher energy wavelengths between 300 nm and 500 nm that are responsible for most cases of photodegradation. An example of this in everyday life is the discoloration of plastics that are left in the sun for long periods of time.

Different drugs can be affected by different wavelengths of lights, and it is therefore important to study the formulation used and assess the drugs for photostability. You can then take any necessary steps to protect the product, for example some excipients can be added that can help protect the drug from light.

Throughout the manufacturing process, light-sensitive drugs must be protected. Longer wavelength light, above 500 nm, is recommended for granulation, compression and packaging areas. For this, the best option is brown colored light, which has wavelengths of between 500 nm and 800 nm.

Tablets or Pills

Tablets and pills made using direct compression containing light sensitive drugs should be coated with a colored film to protect the product from light and prevent degradation. Usually, such tablets use alu-alu packing or amber colored packing to protect the light-sensitive drug. Additionally, drugs that come in liquid form and may be sensitive to light are stored in amber colored vials.

When analysing products that are light sensitive, the lighting used must also be carefully chosen, as the light may affect the product being tested and distort the results. Preparation of such samples should be done in amber colored containers and covered with aluminium foil to keep out any light. Brown or darker colored light should also be used throughout the analysis process to protect the light-sensitive drug from photodegradation.

If you would like any more information on the best way to produce light sensitive tablets or pills, or using a modified rotary pill press, please get in touch and we will be happy to discuss your requirements and identify possible solutions.

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