Introduction to Types of Pharmaceutical Tablets - OnePharmily OnePharmily: Introduction to Types of Pharmaceutical Tablets
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Friday, 2 November 2018

Introduction to Types of Pharmaceutical Tablets

Introduction to Types of Pharmaceutical Tablets
Tablets may be defined as solid pharmaceutical dosage forms containing drug substances with or without suitable excipients and have been traditionally prepared by either compression or moulding methods.

Tablets remain popular as a dosage form till date because of the advantages afforded both to the manufacturer and the patients.

Advantages of Tablets over other dosage forms:

• Advantages of tablets to the manufacturer
1. Simplicity and economy of preparation
2. Stability
3. Convenience in packaging, shipping, and dispensing.

• Advantages of tablets to the patients
1. Accuracy of dosage
2. Compactness ie portability
3. Blandness of taste
4. Ease of administration

Tablets come in different sizes and shapes such as: Discoid, round, oval, oblong, cylindrical, triangular, diamonds, pentagons, hexagons. They may greatly differ in sizes and weights depending on the amount of drug substances present and intended method of administration.

Types of tablets
The types of tablets in used for medicinal purposes nowadays include:

1. Plain compressed tablets: these tablets are formed by compression and contain no special coating. They are made from powdered, crystalline or granular materials, alone or in combination with binders, disintegrants, lubricants, diluents and in many cases, colorants.

2. Coated tablets: These are subdivided into three types:

(a) Film coating tablets (FCT): These are compressed tablets which are covered with a thin layer or film of a water-soluble material. A number of polymeric substances with film forming properties may be used. Film coating imparts the same general characteristics as sugar coating with the added advantage of a greatly reduced time period required for the coating operation.

(b) Enteric coated Tablets (ECT): These are compressed tablets coated with substances that resist dissolution in gastric fluid but dissolve in the intestine. Enteric coatings can be used for tablets containing drug substances which are inactivated or destroyed in the stomach, for those which irritate the mucosa or as a means of delayed release of the medication.

(c) Sustained Release coated tablets or controlled released tablets: These are coated tablets that are formulated to release the drug slowly over a prolonged period of time. Hence these dosage forms have been referred to as “prolonged Release” dosage forms. Such tablets may be those that release the drug in a relatively steady controlled manner and those that combine a numbers of mechanisms to release pulses of drug such as repeat action tablets, double compressed or Layered tablets.

3. Buccal tablets: These are placed in the buccal pouch where they dissolve or disintegrate slowly and are absorbed directly without passing into the alimentary canal. Certain steroids are presented in this way e.g. ethisterone tablets and progesterone tablets.

4. Chewable Tablets: These are tablets designed to be chewed rather than swallowed. The widely used antacid tablets and some vitamin tablets are of this type. They are hard and do not need any disintegrant but may have good mouth feeling and may be flavoured or coloured. They are majorly meant for children or old people without teeth.

4. Effervescent Tablets: In addition to the drug substance, a base such as sodium bicarbonate and an organic acid such as tartaric or citric acid are included. In the presence of water, these additives react liberating carbon dioxide which acts as a disintegrator and produces effervescence. Except for small quantities of lubricants present, effervescent tablets are soluble.

6. Solution tablets: these tablets are also dissolved in water for administration, either orally or by external application, or by parenteral injection. The term solution tablet or solvella in British pharmaceutical codex is to designate a tablet that is to be dissolved in water to form a solution for external use (Aulton, 1988).

7. Sublingual Tablets: these are tablets to be placed under the tongue where they dissolve or disintegrate quickly and are absorbed directly without passing into the alimentary tract. Glyceryl trinitrate tablets are used in this way. The B.P. (1988) states that they dissolve slowly in the mouth. The USP xviii gives a disintegration time of 2 minutes for such tablets. Sublingual tables are absorbed into the circulation to bye-pass the liver.
Such tablets should be highly soluble, not bitter in order not to cause salivation and should not be bulky, not more than 300mg (Aulton, 1988).

8. Lozenges: These do not disintegrate readily and are intended for slow solution in the mouth, usually to produce a local action on the throat. Their disintegration is by erosion in the mouth.

9. Implants: These may be made by heavy compression but are normally made by fusion. They are inserted subcutaneously by means of a minor surgical operation and are slowly absorbed. They are packed singly in sterile containers. Official examples are deoxycortone
acetate implants and testosterone  (Carter, 1972).

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