Types of Tablets in Pharmaceutical Industry

Tablet is the most common and convenient dosage form. It contains active ingredient(s) and excipients. The various types of tablets are described as follows:

Compressed Tablets

In addition to the API(s), compressed tablets usually contain a number of pharmaceutical excipients, including diluents or fillers, binders or adhesives, disintegrants or disintegrating agents, anti-adherents, glidants, and lubricants to prepare the tablets of the desired size and function.


Multiple Compressed Tablets

Multiple compressed tablets are prepared by subjecting the fill material to more than a single compression. The result may be a multiple-layer tablet or a tablet within a tablet, the inner tablet being the core and the outer portion being the shell.


Sugar-coated Tablets

Compressed tablets may be coated with a colored or an uncolored sugar layer. The coating is water soluble and quickly dissolves after swallowing. The sugar coat protects the enclosed drug from the environment and provides a barrier to objectionable taste or odor.


Film-Coated Tablets

Film-coated tablets are compressed tablets coated with a thin layer of a polymer capable of forming a skin-like film. The film is usually colored and has the advantage over sugar coatings in that it is more durable, less bulky, and less time-consuming to apply.


Gelatin-Coated Tablets

A recent innovation is the gelatin-coated tablet. The innovator product, the gel-cap, is a capsule-shaped compressed tablet that allows the coated product to be about one-third smaller than a capsule filled with an equivalent amount of powder. The gelatin coating facilitates swallowing, and gelatin-coated tablets are more tamper evident than unsealed capsules.


Enteric-Coated Tablets

Enteric-coated tablets have delayed-release features. They are designed to pass unchanged through the stomach to the intestines, where the tablets disintegrate and allow drug dissolution and absorption and/or effect. Enteric coatings are employed when the drug substance is destroyed by gastric acid or is particularly irritating to the gastric mucosa or when bypass of the stomach substantially enhances drug absorption.


Buccal and Sublingual Tablets

Buccal and sublingual tablets are flat, oval tablets intended to be dissolved in the buccal pouch (buccal tablets) or beneath the tongue (sublingual tablets) for absorption through the oral mucosa. They enable oral absorption of drugs that are destroyed by the gastric juice and/or are poorly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract.


Chewable Tablets

Chewable tablets, which have a smooth, rapid disintegration when chewed or allowed to dissolve in the mouth, have a creamy base, usually of specially flavored and colored mannitol.


Effervescent Tablets

Effervescent tablets are prepared by compressing granular effervescent salts that release gas when in contact with water.


Molded Tablets

Certain tablets, such as tablet triturates, may be prepared by molding rather than by compression. The resultant tablets are very soft and soluble and are designed for rapid dissolution.


Tablet Triturates

Tablet triturates are small, usually cylindrical, molded, or compressed tablets containing small amounts of usually potent drugs. Today, only a few tablet triturate products are available commercially, with most of these produced by tablet compression.


Immediate-Release Tablets

Immediate-release tablets are designed to disintegrate and release their medication with no special rate-controlling features, such as special coatings and other polymer matrix forming techniques.


Rapidly Disintegrating or Dissolving Tablets

Rapid-release tablets (rapidly dissolving tablets or RDTs) are characterized by disintegrating or dissolving in the mouth within 1 minute, some within 10 seconds.

Extended-Release Tablets

Extended-release tablets (sometimes called controlled-release tablets) are designed to release their medication in a predetermined manner over an extended period.


Vaginal Tablets

Vaginal tablets, also called vaginal inserts, are uncoated, bullet-shaped, or ovoid tablets inserted into the vagina for local effects.

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