Capsules are such a common form of dosage for pharmaceutical drugs that it’s easy to take them for granted. However, pharmaceutical companies put a lot of thought into which dosage form they use for particular drugs and there are reasons why capsules are so popular. Indeed, capsules have a number of benefits that make them appropriate for certain drugs.
During your pharmaceutical manufacturing courses, you’ll learn about different dosage forms, including capsulation. Here’s a look at 3 benefits of capsulation.
1. The Capsule Wall Provides Protection for the Medical Ingredients Inside
Capsules act as a protective barrier for the medicinal ingredients within. Particularly when we are referring to two-piece gel encapsulation—better known as hard capsules—the capsule wall provides significant protection for the ingredients. For example, some medical ingredients are sensitive to light and may degrade when exposed to light. Since the capsule wall can be made opaque, it provides significant protection for light-sensitive ingredients.
Furthermore, the capsule wall can also keep out oxygen and moisture, both of which can increase the rate of degradation of the drug’s active ingredients. That means a dosage form like capsulation can provide a barrier against oxygen and moisture, thus increasing the longevity of some drugs. This makes drugs not only more effective for consumers, but also helps manufacturers create more stable and marketable products.
2. Pharmaceutical Technology College Grads Know that Capsules Are Generally Easy to Make
A pharmaceutical manufacturing diploma can provide you with the training you need to pursue a career in pharmaceutical production and manufacturing. As such, it may interest you to know that capsulation holds a number of benefits in terms of the manufacturing process itself. That’s because manufacturing encapsulated drugs is usually much faster and simpler than manufacturing many other dosage forms.
There are a number of reasons for this. For one, capsules tend to require fewer excipients, which are bulk or filler ingredients that are designed to bulk up or bind together a drug’s medicinal ingredients. With fewer excipients, capsules can be made faster, cheaper, and more lightweight than tablets or other dosage forms. Also, because most clinical trials use capsules, once these drugs are approved for sale, they can be more easily scaled up from the clinical to the mass market stage. However, if the manufacturer changed the dosage form from what was used in the clinical trials, then this would lead to regulatory delays and thus slow down the manufacturing process.
3. Consumers Sometimes Prefer Capsules Over Other Types of Dosage Forms
As you’ll learn in your pharmaceutical manufacturing courses, there are many different types of dosage forms, including capsules, tablets, ointments, creams, injectables, and pellets. However, capsules are one of the more common dosage forms, primarily because they are often preferred by consumers. One survey, for example, found that 52.9% of consumers preferred capsules over other dosage forms. From a consumer’s perspective, capsules offer a number of advantages. As mentioned above, capsules tend to require fewer excipients, which means they can be made smaller and more lightweight, making them easier to swallow. Consumers especially find soft gel capsules to be easy to swallow.
Capsules can also be individually packaged, which makes them convenient for carrying around. Important information can also be printed on the capsule itself, such as the drug name, brand, and dosage size. For consumers who may be taking multiple medications, this information can help ensure they don’t accidentally mix up different medicines.
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