Definition: Pharmaceutical Capsules are unit solid dosage forms made up of gelatin shells which enclose one or more accurately measured active ingredient and/or inert substances. The medication may be a powder, a liquid or a semisolid mass.
Based on the composition of gelatin, capsules are divided as 'soft gelatin capsules' also known as 'one piece capsules' and 'hard gelatin capsules' also called as 'two-piece capsules'or 'dry filled capsules'
The capsules are intended for oral use but occasionally they can be administered rectally or vaginally.From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, encapsulation refers to a range of dosage forms techniques used to enclose medicines in a relatively stable shell known as a capsule, allowing them to, for example, be taken orally or be used as suppositories. The two main types of capsules are:
- Hard-shelled capsules, which contain dry, powdered ingredients or miniature pellets made by e.g. processes of extrusion orspheronization. These are made in two halves: a smaller-diameter that is filled and then sealed using a larger-diameter
- Soft-shelled capsules, primarily used for oils and for active ingredients that are dissolved or suspended in oil.
Both of these classes of capsules are made from aqueous solutions of gelling agents, such as animal protein (mainly gelatin) or plantpolysaccharides or their derivatives (such as carrageenans and modified forms of starch and cellulose). Other ingredients can be added to the gelling agent solution including plasticizers such as glycerin or sorbitol to decrease the capsule's hardness, coloring agents,preservatives, disintegrants, lubricants and surface treatment.
Since their inception, capsules have been viewed by consumers as the most efficient method of taking medication. For this reason, producers of drugs such as OTC analgesics wanting to emphasize the strength of their product developed the a portmanteau of capsule-shaped tablet in order to tie this positive association to more efficiently-produced tablet pills, as well as being an easier-to-swallow shape than the usual disk-shaped