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Understanding the types of tablets in pharma

Timo Kubbinga
Written by
Timo Kubbinga
/ Published on
March 21, 2024
types of tablets in pharma

Tablets area a fundamental aspect of pharmaceutical formulations, designed to deliver medication in a convenient, precise, and safe manner. They are categorized based on their purpose, release characteristics, and formulation specifics. This blog post explores the different types of tablets found in pharmacy, aiming to demystify the variety and highlight the innovation behind each form.

Conventional tablets

Conventional tablets are designed for immediate release, with the active ingredient dispersed throughout the tablet. Once ingested, the tablet disintegrates and dissolves in the digestive tract, allowing the drug to be absorbed into the bloodstream. These tablets are the most common form, appreciated for their straightforward manufacturing process and patient-friendly design.

Chewable tablets

Chewable tablets are formulated to be chewed before swallowing, offering an alternative for those who have difficulty swallowing pills. This type also allows for quicker absorption of the medication in the mouth, which can be beneficial for certain active ingredients. Chewable tablets are often flavored to improve taste.

Effervescent tablets

Effervescent tablets are designed to dissolve in water, creating a solution that can be drunk. This type of tablet is beneficial for active ingredients that are more effectively absorbed in liquid form, or for patients who prefer not to swallow pills. The effervescent action is also helpful in masking the taste of the medication.

Sublingual and buccal tablets

Sublingual and buccal tablets are small, designed to be placed under the tongue or in the cheek pouch, respectively. These tablets dissolve quickly, allowing the medication to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the mucous membranes of the mouth. This method bypasses the digestive system, providing a rapid onset of action.

Extended-release tablets

Extended-release tablets are engineered to release the active ingredient slowly over time. This controlled release reduces the frequency of dosing and maintains a more stable concentration of medication in the bloodstream, enhancing treatment efficacy and patient compliance. They are ideal for chronic conditions requiring consistent medication levels.

Disintegrating tablets

Disintegrating tablets, also known as orally disintegrating tablets (ODTs), are designed to dissolve on the tongue without the need for water. ODTs provide convenience and ease of use, particularly for pediatric, geriatric, and psychiatric patients who may have difficulty with traditional tablets.

Coated tablets

Coated tablets feature an outer layer that serves multiple purposes: protecting the active ingredient from the external environment, masking unpleasant tastes or odors, and sometimes controlling the release of the medication. Coatings can be either functional for controlled release or non-functional for aesthetic purposes. Read more about the role of tablet coating machines.

Importance of tablets development in pharma

The diversity of tablet types in the pharmaceutical industry reflects ongoing efforts to improve patient care through tailored medication delivery systems. Understanding these differences is crucial for healthcare providers, patients, and those involved in pharmaceutical development and packaging. Innovations in tablet formulation and design continue to enhance drug efficacy, safety, and patient adherence, reinforcing the importance of continuous research and development in the field.

As we explore the future of pharmaceuticals, the role of custom packaging solutions, particularly those focusing on safety and sustainability, are becoming increasingly important. The cooperation between drug formulation and protective packaging is essential for delivering safe, effective, and user-friendly medication to patients worldwide.

For further information on the latest packaging solutions, or to explore how advanced packaging can complement your range of tablet types, we invite you to get in touch. Our team is dedicated to guiding you through the packaging selection process, ensuring that you find the most suitable, innovative, and safe packaging options for your products.

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Ecobliss Pharmaceutical cold seal wallet
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Wim Henk Stoppkotte

Wim Henk Stoppkotte

Gianni Linssen

Gianni Linssen

Timo Kubbinga

Timo Kubbinga


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