An oral solid dose is the most common form of drug available in the market today. It became well-known because of the convenience it provides medical practitioners and self-medicating patients, but it is also considered more effective due to its solubility and stability.
Since they are widely used, solid dose drugs offer a challenge to pharmaceutical manufacturers. This because every single tablet or capsule should contain the right amount of active ingredients to deliver their intended effects. That said, solid dose training has become widely-sought in the industry to avoid problems in the manufacturing process.
Oral Solid Dose Explained
Oral solid dose medicines are taken in solid form by means of swallowing. Some of the most common kinds of OSD are tablets and capsules. However, many people are now using others like lozenges, granules, powder, and pastilles that provide varying benefits that fit unique circumstances.
OSDs are manufactured in a way that will provide the most benefit for the patient from its active ingredients to the excipients added.
What Are Excipients?
Aside from the active ingredients that provide the desired effect on the human body, oral solid dose medications also contain what pharmaceutical manufacturers call the “excipients.” According to experts, excipients are inert substances that serve many purposes.
Commonly, these substances act as a diluent or vessel for the drug. However, there are a wide variety of excipients used on different drugs, including:
- Binder – combines the ingredients with mechanical strength
- Disintegrant – helps in releasing the active ingredient by dissolving the OSD in the digestive tract
- Diluent – aids in bulking up the tablet and enables active ingredients’ accurate dosing
- Lubricant – provides slow dissolution and disintegration of OSDs
- Glidant – allows better flow of active ingredients by reducing adhesion and friction between particles
- Coating – serves as the OSD’s protection against air, light, and moisture from the environment
- Flavoring and Coloring Agents – adds color and flavor to the OSD
Kinds of OSD and Their Uses
These hard compressed OSDs, which often come in spherical shapes, contain a unit dose of the active ingredients. Usually prepared through a binding or molding method, this type of OSD contains various excipients such as disintegrants, binders or gliders, and coatings, as well as flavoring or coloring agents. Below are three kinds of tablets available in the market.
Chewable tablets are made with sweeteners to mask the bitter taste of its active ingredients, making it the perfect choice for medications made for children. However, adult medicines may also be made chewable to provide more ease in consumption.
Made without any kind of coatings, effervescent tablets contain substances like tartaric and citric acids as well as bicarbonates that react to water by releasing carbon dioxide. Upon contact with the fluid, this type of tablet produces fizz from the chemical reaction and a pleasant lime-like taste. This allows quick dissolution and ease of consumption
- Sublingual and Buccal
Sublingual tablets are placed under the tongue while buccal are put in between the cheek and gums. These forms of a tablet are considered effective for treatment that requires active ingredients to be administered while avoiding enzymes in the liver and the stomach. Medication that comes in this form is absorbed through the mouth’s mucous membrane which then brings it directly to the bloodstream.
Like tablets, capsules are OSDs that contain the mixture of active pharmaceutical ingredients and excipients. However, it comes in a gelatin container that is either hard (for drugs in powdery or granulated form) or soft (for oils or substances suspended in oils).
Pastilles and Lozenges
Lozenges and pastilles popular among people who suffer from a sore throat and other upper respiratory tract ailments as it is used to facilitate the gradual release of APIs and typically contains flavoring agents like sugar. However, the latter is softer than the former as it typically contains gelatin and glycerine.
Granules and Powder
Typically packed in single-dose sachets, granules and powder OSDs are either mixed with water or taken directly through swallowing.