Trituration is the name of several different methods of processing materials. Trituration is also the name of the process for reducing the particle size of a substance by grinding, as by grinding of powders in a mortar with a pestle. Trituration additionally refers to the production of a homogeneous material through mixing. For example, dental amalgam is formed by combining particles of an alloy with mercury.
In organic chemistry, trituration is a process used to purify crude chemical compounds containing soluble impurities. A solvent is chosen in which the desired product is insoluble and the undesired by-products are very soluble (or the other way around). The crude material is washed with the solvent and filtered away, leaving the purified product in solid form and any impurities in solution.
In pharmacology, trituration can also refer to the process of grinding one compound into another to dilute one of the ingredients, add volume for processing and handling, or to mask undesirable qualities. For example, the amount of hormone in a dose of Levonorgestrel formulated as a progestogen-only contraceptive is only 30µg, which is far too small to handle. In typical product the drug is triturated with c. 1700 times its mass of sugar before being compressed and coated to produce the final tablet.
- "Norgeston". electronic Medicines Compendium. 2. Qualitative and quantitative composition. Retrieved 2013-08-22.