Glycerinum, Br.; Glycerins; Glycerata, Glycerolata, Glycerole; Glyceres, Fr. Cod.; Glycerats, Glyceroles, Fr.; Glyocerit, Glycerolat, G.
These are solutions of medicinal substances in glycerin. In the thirteenth edition of the Dispensatory various reasons were adduced for preferring the name glycerates for these preparations, but, as the revisers of the U. S. Pharmacopoeia have adopted that of glycerites, these reasons are omitted. The U. S. name is certainly much better than the British name glycerin (Glycerinum) for this does not distinguish a class of preparations from the solvent used in making them.
Glycerin has valuable properties as a solvent and vehicle for medicinal substances. Such are its not unpleasant taste and bland character, its wide range of solvent power, which adapts it sometimes as a menstruum where neither water nor alcohol could be advantageously used, and enables it to retain in solution otherwise insoluble substances so frequently found in infusions and decoctions, and its preservative influence, which often protects against oxidation, and, by a destructive agency upon all of the lowest forms of vegetable and animal life, prevents the various fermentative processes so destructive to organic bodies. Another important property, as a vehicle for external remedies, is the permanence of its liquid character, so that it does not, like water and alcohol, dry up when applied to the skin, resembling in this respect, as well as in its demulcent quality, the fixed oils, without their tendency to rancidity. Hence it has of late come into extensive use in the preparation of medicinal solutions, which, under the name of Glyceres found admission into the French Codex of 1866, and are now recognized by both the United States and British Pharmacopoeias.