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Tablet, capsule, dragee, pills: features and differences

  1. Medicines must usually be taken by mouth. The best known form is the tablet. There are also dragees and capsules. And what about melting tablets and effervescent tablets? The pill nowadays refers to the contraceptive pill. Is this also a pill or not? Are there other pills? About the characteristics of and the differences between these dosage forms.

Oral medication: enteral dosage form

  1. There are many ways to bring a drug into contact with the part of the body where it is to act as desired.

Tablet

  1. Tablets / Source: Markus Würfel, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

Melting Tablet

  1. Besides the 'normal' tablet there is also the melting tablet. The melting tablet is designed to be taken without water. A melting tablet dissolves quickly in the saliva and is swallowed with it. This is useful for people who are nauseous and / or vomit, as occurs with migraines. Some medicines for migraine patients are therefore melt tablets, such as Maxalt. The stomach is spared as much as possible and the medicine can still be taken. The disadvantage is that the taste can resist.

Effervescent tablet

  1. Source: Dullhunk, Flickr (CC BY-2.0)

Capsule

  1. Hard shell capsules / Source: ElsBrinkerink, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

Dragee

  1. Dragees in blister pack / Source: SElefant, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

Pills

  1. Pills used to be made by the pharmacist using a pill shelf and pill knife. Today this is no longer done. This way of preparing medicines was not very accurate and it was a lot of work. Partly due to the introduction of regulations for hygienic working, pill turning has been abolished. The other dosage forms such as tablet, dragee and capsule have replaced it. Anyone who types in the word 'pill' as a search term on Google will only get information about the contraceptive pill, which is usually referred to as 'the pill', but is usually a dragee. In colloquial speech the word pill is still used: "give me a pill for my headaches".

  2. Pills used to be made by the pharmacist using a pill shelf and pill knife. Today this is no longer done. This way of preparing medicines was not very accurate and it was a lot of work. Partly due to the introduction of regulations for hygienic work, pill turning has been abolished. The other dosage forms such as tablet, dragee and capsule have replaced it. Anyone who types in the word 'pill' as a search term on Google will only get information about the contraceptive pill, which is usually referred to as 'the pill', but is usually a dragee. In colloquial speech the word pill is still used: "give me a pill for my headaches".



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