The incorporation of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) into multicomponent solid forms (such as salts and co-crystals) or liquid forms (such as ionic liquids (ILs) or deep eutectic mixtures) is important in optimizing the efficacy and delivery of APIs. However, there is a current debate regarding the classification of these multicomponent systems based on their ionicity which could interfere with their consideration in important applications. Multicomponent systems of intermediate ionicity can show a combination of properties, leading to behavior that is neither strictly typical of either purely ionic or purely neutral compounds, nor easily described as intermediate between the two. In this perspective, we attempt to illustrate the problems in classifying multicomponent APIs based on one of two categories by discussing selected literature regarding solid and liquid multicomponent APIs and presenting the crystal structures of some relevant systems as case studies. It is clear that a focus on restrictive nomenclature carries with it the risk that a thorough examination of the physicochemical properties of the compounds will be overlooked.
Kelley, S. P., Narita, A., Holbrey, J. D., Green, K. D., Reichert, W. M., & Rogers, R. D. (2013). Understanding the Effects of Ionicity in Salts, Solvates, Co-Crystals, Ionic Co-Crystals, and Ionic Liquids, Rather than Nomenclature, Is Critical to Understanding Their Behavior. Crystal Growth and Design, 13(3), 965-975. https://doi.org/10.1021/cg4000439