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Home » Applications »Dyes in Medicine

Dyes in Medicine

Dyes in MedicineThere has also been an increasing usage of dyes in the medical sector. Here, dyes act as an important ingredient in many of the medical tests conducted on humans.

These dyes in coordination with latest diagnosis equipment allow flawless handling and high accuracy in tests that are carried out on patients. One such dye example is Fluorescein angiography that derives its name from fluorescein. This dye is successfully used for carrying out tests like Angiogram which provides valuable information about the circulatory system.

Process of using dye in Fluorescein Angiography Test:
  • A special dye called fluorescein is injected into vein in arm
  • Within seconds, dye reaches blood vessels inside eye
  • Camera with special filters highlights the and is used for photographing fluorescein as it keeps on circulating through blood vessels in back of eye

This dye has ability to detect abnormalities like:
  • Circulation problems
  • Swelling
  • Leaking or abnormal blood vessels

All these abnormalities can be seen in the photographs. Based on the arrived results, doctors then decide on the diagnosis and possible treatment options. Almost all dyes that find usage in the medical sector are synthetic in nature with only a few varieties that fall under natural dyes. These dyes are used for applications like:
  • Color tablets (coated/uncoated)
  • Staining on shell capsules
  • Syrup coloring
  • Providing color to drug that enhances the aesthetics as well as aids product identification

Use of Dyes in Different Medicines:

Tablets colors are made using tablet coating technology. The coating film on tablets aims to:
  • Enhance the aesthetic of tablets
  • Help in maintaining product identification

There are two types of dyes that are used in film coatings:
Synthetic Dyes:
These dyes are approved by FDA (Food and Drug Administration) an organization that approves relevant dyes in foods, drugs and cosmetics sector.

Natural Dyes:
Here, chlorophyll, anthocyanin, and carotenoid are used at the time prior to printing color tablets, mixing both dry and wet granulation.

Dyes are particularly used in the hard-shelled capsule. These may be from a variety of iron oxide, opaque material like:

  • Titanium dioxide
  • Dispersing materials
  • Hardening materials like sucrose
  • Preservatives

Further, soft capsules can also contain pigments/dyes in form of, opaque materials like:
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Preservatives
  • Fragrances
  • Sweeteners

Dyes are also used in syrups where it helps in providing attractive appearance as well as distinguish the preparation from others available in the market. Some of commonly used dye in syrups includes:
  • FD & C dyes
  • D & C dye

These dyes are added to syrups and adjusted to essence, for example:
  • Medicinal syrup with orange flavor (add yellow/orange dye)
  • Medicinal syrup with mint flavor (add white dye)
  • Labels: Colorant, Coloring Agent, Dyes

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