Difference Between Capsules and Tablets

Main Difference

The difference between capsule and tablet is that capsule is the medicine that is cylindrical and consist of jelly or powder whereas a tablet is a medicine that is flat and is compressed powder in solid form.

Capsules vs. Tablets

People use capsule and tablets as medicine they are oral pharmaceutical dosage, but there is a difference between a capsule and tablets. They are different in appearance, method, and usages. Capsules are soft because they usually have gel-like substance and can also have powdered material while tablets are stable and in compressed powder form. Tablets are made by molding and compression whereas blow molding and soft shelling prepare capsules. Tablets were made before capsules; there was the need to capsules for a patient who can’t swallow tablets. Tablets can be cut into pieces whereas capsules cannot be cut into pieces because they have gel-like substance in them. The capsule is like a gelatin container having powder. Tablets do not enter the bloodstream because tablets are mostly coated with sugar, on the other hand, there is no sugar-coated on the capsule, so they enter the bloodstream immediately. Capsules are more expensive than tablets, the shelf life of a tablet is more than a capsule because tablets are manufactured by compressing the material with force. Tablets vary in sizes and shapes, but tablets are hard to swallow. As compared to tablets, capsules can be easily swallowed. The manufacturing of capsules is more expensive than the production of tablets. Capsule does not stay for a very long time. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of tablets and capsules for a better understanding of the difference between tablets and capsules.

Comparison Chart

The capsule is the medicine that is cylindrical and consist of jelly or powderTablet is a medicine that is flat and is compressed powder in solid form.
Soft-shelledHard, solid
Blow molding processCompression process
Gel, powderSolid powder

What are the Capsules?

The capsule is the medicine that is cylindrical and consist of jelly or powder. Capsules were made for a patient who can’t swallow hard tablets. The ingredient is put in capsule mostly in the form of jell or powder. All the component are sealed under the capsule. Vitamin or any other supplement are enclosed in a two-piece capsule. The capsule is also known as caplets that are much for more comfortable to swallow. The significant benefit of having a capsule in place of the tablet is that the capsule easily breaks down in the stomach.

Types of Capsules

  • Soft Capsule: Soft capsules have a quicker effect and are absorbed more effectively
  • Hard Capsule: The hard capsule has a hard shell; two pieces are filled with drug and are fit together. The hard capsule is used when drugs are easily dissolvable in the stomach.
  • What are Tablets?

Advantages of Capsules

  • Easier to swallow
  • It provides more protection
  • It can be open and use
  • No gastrointestinal irritation
  • More than one ingredients can be combined
  • There is an option of gelatin and vegetarian enclosure
  • Fat-soluble
  • Immediately works in blood

Disadvantages of Capsules

  • There are be a large capsule that cannot be easy to swallow
  • You can only have limited ingredient in a capsule
  • Maintain the size of the capsule
  • More costly
  • Restricted to tight pH range

What are the Tablets?

Tablet is a medicine that is flat and is compressed powder in solid form. Tablets are available in different shapes and sizes. Tablets are often hard to swallow, but they can crush the tablet and eat with food or any drink on the other hand capsules are not that easy to open and use with food. There is a method by which tablets are made with perfect size, shape, and color for any person, and that method is known as customization. Tablets are way cheaper than capsules, other than being cheaper tablets have many more advantages. Tablets have a long shelf life that means you can keep tablets for a very long time. The most common tablets are either circular or disk-shaped. We mostly see a scored line in the middle of a tablet that makes easier to break in two pieces. Tablets also have fillers to give tablet size; tablets also have a binder that can hold the tablet together. Sometimes there is a need to provide half-tablet as per dose so the best thing about the tablet is that you can cut the tablet into two pieces.

Types of Tablets

  • Chewable Tablet: These tablets are for people who find difficult to swallow tablet. Example of chewable tablets is antacid and vitamin tablets.
  • Effervescent Tablet: The effervescent tablet contains acid and hydrogen carbonate. Effervescent tablets have sodium bicarbonate, citric acid, and tartaric acid and other chemicals.
  • Lozenge Tablet: Lozenge tablet is for throat infections; there is no disintegrating agent in lozenge tablet. There are sweetening sugar, artificial colors and flavors in this tablet.
  • Soluble Tablet: The soluble tablet dissolves entirely in water. Mouthwash, skin lotion, antibiotic, aspirin are examples of dispersible tablets.
  • Sublingual Tablet: Sublingual table destroyed within the gastrointestinal tract; this tablet is put below the tongue as the drug releases slowly. Nitroglycerin is an example of sublingual tablets.

Advantages of Tablets

  • Look Elegant
  • Perfect size and shape
  • Dose splitting is possible
  • Cheap than capsule
  • There can be chewable tablets

Disadvantages of Tablets

  • Poor Disintegration in GI tract
  • Granulation technique is difficult
  • Sensitive to coatings

Example of Tablets

  • Generic Zocor
  • Lisinopril
  • Generic Synthroid (levothyroxine sodium)
  • synthetic thyroid hormone
  • Generic Norvasc
  • Generic Prilosec
  • Azithromycin
  • Amoxicillin
  • Generic Glucophage
  • Hydrochlorothiazide

Key Differences

  1. The capsule is the medicine that is cylindrical and consists of jelly or powder whereas Tablet is a medicine that is flat and is compressed powder in solid form.
  2. The capsule cannot be cut into pieces whereas tablets can be split into parts.
  3. The capsule is made by blow molding process whereas tablets are prepared by the compression process
  4. The capsule has a short shelf time whereas tablets have long shelf time.

Comparison Video

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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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