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Type of Tablets

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7 July 2016 No comments

Tablets are defined as solid form of drug dosages where each unit is made up of one or more medicaments. Administered orally, the tablets are made up of powdered drugs with excipients that are compressed into its solid form. Two-thirds of the drugs currently prescribed are in solid form including half as sold as tablets.

Major Categories of Tablets:

  • Uncoated – a single layer or more than one layer that consists of active ingredients and excipients compressed together without any additional coat or cover
  • Coated – tablets that have additional coating layer added. Ex: gums, sugar, plasticizers, waxes…
  • Dispersible – tablets that have film coats or uncoated tablets that form a uniform dispersion when it is suspended in water
  • Effervescent – tablets that are uncoated and intended to dissolve and disperse when it is mixed with organic acid or bicarbonate that produces CO2. The CO2 disintegrates the tablet and produces a suspension that is readily absorbed
  • Modified release – coated or uncoated tablets that are designed to release the active ingredient when the desired activity or condition is reached. Examples: enteric coated, delay-release and prolonged release
  • Enteric coated – also called as gastro-resistant, these tablets are resistant to gastric juices and are coated with anionic polymer of methylacrylic acid.
  • Prolonged release – also called as extended release or sustained release tablets, these tablets are formulated in such a way that the release of active ingredient is controlled over a prolonged period. Special excipients will be need to be able to produce prolonged release.
  • Soluble – tablets that are dissolved with water before being administered. May be coated or uncoated.
  • Tablets that are for mouth use – these tablets are formulated to release active ingredients when placed in the buccal cavity or mouth area. Examples are buccal, sublingual, lozenges and troche.
  • Buccal – tablets placed in between the gingival and cheek area
  • Sublingual – placed underneath the tongue
  • Implantable/Other Route – tablets that are placed in other areas of the body instead of the mouth (example, rectal or vaginal tablets).

Advantages:

  • Ease and convenience of use
  • Fixed dosages
  • Bitter tasting drugs can be masked with coated tablets
  • Unstable API can be administered through coated tablets
  • Modified release of active ingredients ensures patient’s compliance and increases therapeutic effect
  • Inexpensive form of dosage
  • Stability of API

Disadvantages:

  • Availability of drugs depends on several factors.
  • Onset of action of drugs is less compared with direct route such as IV.
  • Smaller and geriatric patients may find it harder to swallow tablets.