Tablets and capsules are the most commonly used oral forms of administration for food supplements and medicines. In the pharmaceutical industry, tablets are by far the most frequently used form of administration at 70%. In specialist jargon, this is also referred to as the 'oral solid dosage form.'
The fact that many manufacturers and brand owners choose tablets as the 'oral solid dosage form' has several reasons:
1. Tablets are easy for the customer to take;
2. The active ingredients are more accurate to dose;
3. Tablets can be produced with consistent quality and stability;
4. Tablets are cheaper to produce than capsules;
5. Tablets can contain a higher dosage of active ingredients, resulting in better therapy compliance.
The tableting process
The active ingredients are mixed with the minimum amounts of excipients so that a good quality tablet can be created. With as few excipients as possible, a tablet can be stored with a uniform filling weight. It must also be wear and impact-resistant and have a disintegration time (time of disintegration into water/body) of less than 15 minutes. The final result strongly depends on the tableting properties of the powder mixture and its composition. A disadvantage is that large tablets are sometimes difficult to take. In those cases, tablets can be coated, which makes swallowing easier. The coating can also mask a possible unpleasant taste of the tablet. It sometimes happens that a powder mixture cannot or is very difficult to be made into a tablet; alternatively, a capsule or powder can be chosen.