Lipids are perhaps one of the most versatile excipient classes currently available, providing the formulator with many potential options for improving and controlling the absorption of poorly water-soluble drugs. These formulation options include lipid suspensions, solutions, emulsions, microemulsions, mixed micelles, SEDDS, SMEDDS, thixotropic vehicles, thermo-softening matrices, and liposomes. The formulator should be aware of the factors that determine the suitability of the various lipids for the intended formulation, such as stability to oxidation, hydrolysis, and polymorphic changes as well as digestibility and stability in the GI environment.

Selected subsets of commercially available lipids and considerations pertinent to their pharmaceutical applications have been summarized in this chapter. The formulator is advised to consult the literature and contact the excipient manufacturers for more detailed information on the properties of any lipid being considered for use in formulations.

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