Capsules, Hard

Authored by: Brian E. Jones

Encyclopedia of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology

Print publication date:  July  2013
Online publication date:  July  2013

Print ISBN: 9781841848198
eBook ISBN: 9781351124874
Adobe ISBN:

10.1081/E-EPT4-v1-28

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Abstract

Hard or two-piece capsules were first produced on an industrial-scale in the United States in the 19th century and are now produced throughout the world (1). Hard capsules are welcomed by consumers because of their elegant appearance and shape, which makes them easy to swallow. The majority of capsule fills are dry powder blends, which are typically simple mixtures. The processing and filling of materials involves minimum stress and is one of the reasons why products are presented in this form. The formulator is able to prepare products that have the desired release characteristics, rapid, controlled, or modified release, because of the limited numbers of factors involved. Hard capsules can be filled with formulations that have a wide range of physical properties from dry solids to nonaqueous solutions, thus enabling the formulator to use many different types of excipients to achieve their desired effect. Capsule products can be formulated to release their active ingredients at many sites along the gastrointestinal tract and to deliver them to the lungs. The capsule-filling process means that is the ideal dosage form for producing products at all scales from the small numbers required for “first time in man” trials up to full-scale production quantities without having to change the formulation.

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