Medical

Difference Between Capsules and Tablets

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Main Difference

The main difference between Capsules and Tablets is that Capsules are the type of medicine that we cannot cut into two, whereas Tablets are the type of medicine that we can cut into two.

Capsules vs. Tablets

Nutrients present in the capsules are absorbed better than the nutrients obtained from the tablets. The drugs which are present in the capsules are considered to enter into the bloodstream of people immediately. Tablets, on the other hand, are referred to as coated with sugar or the same substances that show the medicines present in them would not instantly come into the bloodstream of the people. Tablets are less expensive than capsules.

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Capsules retain their potential for a shorter age; on the other hand, the tablets are considered to retain their potential for a longer age as compared to the capsules and therefore referred to have more shelf life.

Capsules are considered easy to swallow. People that have difficulty in swallowing the capsule can open it and blend the contents of the capsule into a drink. This trick is proved beneficial when we have to administer the capsules to children. The only drawback of tablets is that large tablets can be proved hard to swallow. The only way of taking the large tablet is to break that tablet or crush it to the powder.

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Comparison Chart

CapsulesTablets
The type of medicine that we cannot cut into two is called a capsule.The type of medicine that we can cut into two is called a tablet.
Invention
Capsules were invented in 1834.Tablets were invented as early as 1500 BC.
Shape
Capsules do not have different shapes.Different shapes of tablets are available in the pharmacies.
Size
Capsules do not have different sizes.Different sizes of tablets are available in the pharmacies.
Potential
Capsules are considered to show less potential.Tablets are responsible for showing high potential.
Form
Capsules are available in the pharmacies in soft and hard-shelled forms.Tablets are available in the pharmacies compressed powder form.
Process
The blow molding process is used to transfer the medicine into the capsules.The compression or molding process is generally used to produce a solid dose of the tablet.
Intake Of Medicine
Capsules are generally taken orally.Tablets are generally administered sublingually, rectally, orally or intravaginally.
Composition
Capsules are generally composed of suspended oil or powdered medicine.Tablets are composed of powdered medicine.
Swallowing
It is considered smooth or simple to swallow.It is hard or tough to swallow large tablets.
Blood Stream
The drugs which are present in the capsules are considered to enter into the bloodstream of people immediately.Tablets are referred to as coated or sheathed with sugar or the same materials, which shows that the medicines present in them would not instantly get into the bloodstream of the people.
Cost
Capsules are considered expensive.The tablets are considered more cost-effective.
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What are the Capsules?

In order to encapsulate the medicines, we use a shell or a container that is called a capsule. Patients are referred to as intake this type of medicine orally. Capsules are available in the pharmacies in soft and hard-shelled forms. We made capsules by using gelling agents like animal protein.

In order to decrease the hardness of the capsule, we use plasticizers in them, and to change their color, we add coloring agents. Gelatin is used to make the hard-shelled capsules, which in turn contain dry, powdered ingredients. In 1847, James Murdock patented them. Half of the capsule is filled with the powder solution, whereas the rest of the capsule is pressed on.

The active ingredients that are referred to as suspended in oil or the oil are packed in the form of medicines by using soft-shelled capsules. In 1834, Mothes and Dublanc invented the soft-shelled capsules. The method which was used to produce these types of capsules was granted a patent. At an early age, a medicine dropper was used to transfer the medicines into this type of capsule, but now the blow molding process is used to transfer the medicine into the capsules.

Advantages of Capsules

  • It is referred to as an odorless, tasteless medicine and is easy to swallow.
  • It is responsible for delivering fat and oil-soluble nutrients.
  • In order to reduce gastrointestinal irritation, we use capsules.
  • We obtain protection for sensitive ingredients through capsules.
  • We can open the capsules to obtain the powdered ingredients.
  • The capsules which enclose hard gelatin can be proved as good oxygen barriers.
  • It is possible for capsules to have unique mixes of ingredients.

Disadvantages of Capsules

  • The capsule is referred to as a costly medicine.
  • The ingredients which are present in the capsule can interact with the shell of the capsule.
  • The variations may occur in the fill volume of the capsule.
  • The large size of the capsule results when we use bulky materials.

What are Tablets?

A tablet is referred to as another form of oral pharmaceutical dosage. The compression or molding process is generally used to produce a solid dose of the tablet. About two-thirds of all the prescriptions that are prescribed to a patient are solid dosages and contain half of these solid dosages in the form of tablets. Tablets are generally administered sublingually, rectally, orally or intravaginally.

The earliest records of tablets show that they were first used in 1500 BC in ancient Egypt when pills were thought to be found on papyruses. The spices or plant powders that were thought to be used as medicinal ingredients were mixed and then converted into pills. It is considered as a difficult task to swallow a tablet.

Tablets were thought to be coated with the slippery plant substances during the medieval era so that the patients could take them easily. The coatings and markings on the tablets make them different from the other tablets. Nowadays, some tablets are considered to have special properties like fast-dissolving formulations.

Advantages of Tablets

  • They are generally considered as elegant and widely accepted.
  • The tablets of custom shape, size, and appearance are available in the pharmacies.
  • They are available at low prices.
  • To get specific nutrient uptake, we use controlled release agents.
  • They are involved in low-cost coatings for the enteric delivery when needed.

Disadvantages of Tablets

  • Tablets are referred to as potentially poor during disintegration in the GI tract, except there are proper conditions for controlling the disintegration.
  • They are involved in showing potential sensitivities to coatings.
  • Heat or moisture is added to components through the granulation technique.

Key Differences

  1. The type of medicine that we cannot cut into two is called capsules, whereas, the type of medicine that we can cut into two is called tablets.
  2. Capsules were invented in 1834; on the other hand, tablets were invented as early as 1500 BC.
  3. Capsules do not have different shapes. Conversely, different shapes of tablets are available in the pharmacies.
  4. Capsules do not have different sizes, on the flip side, different sizes of tablets are available in the pharmacies.
  5. Capsules are considered to show less potential; on the other side, tablets are considered to show high potential.
  6. Capsules are available in the pharmacies in soft and hard-shelled forms, while tablets are available in the pharmacies compressed powder form.
  7. The blow molding process is used to transfer the medicine into the capsules; on the other hand, the compression or molding process is generally used to produce a solid dose of the tablet.
  8. Capsules are generally taken orally, whereas tablets are generally administered sublingually, rectally, orally or intravaginally.
  9. Capsules are generally composed of suspended oil or powdered medicine, on the flip side, tablets are composed of powdered medicine.
  10. Capsules are considered easy to swallow; on the other side, large tablets are considered hard to swallow.
  11. The drugs which are present in the capsules are considered to enter into the bloodstream of people immediately, while tablets are referred to as coated with sugar or similar substances, which shows that the drugs present in them would not immediately enter into the bloodstream of the people.
  12. Capsules are considered expensive; on the other hand, the tablets are considered less expensive.

Comparison Video

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Conclusion

All of the above discussion concludes that both the capsules and tablets are considered as oral pharmaceutical dosage forms. The capsules are the type of medicine that we cannot cut into two and does not have different sizes and shapes, on the flip side, the tablets are the type of medicine that we can cut into two and different shapes, sizes, and appearances of it are available in the pharmacies.

Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White

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