1 a slab of stone or wood suitable for bearing an inscription
3 a small flat compressed cake of some substance; "a tablet of soap"
A tablet is a mixture of active substances and excipients, usually in powder form, pressed or compacted into a solid. The excipients include binders, glidants (flow aids) and lubricants to ensure efficient tabletting; disintegrants to ensure that the tablet breaks up in the digestive tract; sweeteners or flavours to mask the taste of bad-tasting active ingredients; and pigments to make uncoated tablets visually attractive. A coating may be applied to hide the taste of the tablet's components, to make the tablet smoother and easier to swallow, and to make it more resistant to the environment, extending its shelf life.
The compressed tablet is the most popular dosage form in use today. About two-thirds of all prescriptions are dispensed as solid dosage forms, and half of these are compressed tablets. A tablet can be formulated to deliver an accurate dosage to a specific site; it is usually taken orally, but can be administered sublingually, rectally or intravaginally. Tablet formation represents the last stage in down-stream processing within the pharmaceutical industry. It is just one of the many forms that an oral drug can take such as syrups, elixirs, suspensions, and emulsions. It consists of an active pharmaceutical ingredient (A.P.I.) with biologically inert excipients in a compressed, solid form.
Medicinal tablets were originally made in the shape of a disk of whatever color their components determined, but are now made in many shapes and colors to help users to distinguish between different medicines that they take. Tablets are often stamped with symbols, letters, and numbers, which enable them to be identified. Sizes of tablets to be swallowed range from a few millimeters to about a centimeter. Some tablets are in the shape of capsules, and are called "caplets".
Medicines to be taken orally are very often supplied in tablet form; indeed the word tablet without qualification would be taken to refer to a medicinal tablet. Medicinal tablets and capsules are often called pills. Other products are manufactured in the form of tablets which are designed to dissolve or disintegrate; e.g. cleaning and deodorizing products.
Tablet presses, also called tableting machines, range from small, inexpensive bench-top models that make one tablet at a time (single-station presses), no more than a few thousand an hour, and with only around a half-ton pressure, to large, computerized, industrial models (multi-station rotary or eccentric presses) that can make hundreds of thousands to millions of tablets an hour with much greater pressure. Some tablet presses can make extremely large tablets, such as some of the toilet cleaning and deodorizing products or dishwasher soap. Others can make smaller tablets, from regular aspirin to some the size of a bb gun pellet. Tablet presses may also be used to form tablets out of a wide variety of materials, from powdered metals to cookie crumbs. The tablet press is an essential piece of machinery for any pharmaceutical and nutraceutical manufacturer.
It is sometimes necessary to split tablets into halves or quarters. Tablets are easier to break accurately if scored, but there are devices called pill-splitters which cut unscored and scored tablets. Tablets with special coatings (for example enteric coatings or controlled-release coatings) should not be broken before use, as this will expose the tablet core to the digestive juices, short-circuiting the intended delayed-release effect.
- F. A. Rowley, “The Air War in The Compressing Room, Part 1”, Tablets & Capsules Magazine, 2005,
- Nation Master.com entry
- "Tablets and Dissolution", University of Maryland: School of Pharmacy. Phar 535, Spring 2003
tablet in Czech: Tableta
tablet in German: Tablette
tablet in Spanish: Comprimido
tablet in French: Comprimé
tablet in Korean: 알약
tablet in Indonesian: Tablet
tablet in Hebrew: גלולה
tablet in Lithuanian: Tabletė
tablet in Hungarian: Tabletta
tablet in Dutch: Tablet
tablet in Japanese: 錠剤
tablet in Norwegian: Tabletter
tablet in Norwegian Nynorsk: Tablett
tablet in Polish: Tabletka
tablet in Russian: Таблетки
tablet in Slovenian: Tableta
tablet in Swedish: Tablett
tablet in Chinese: 片剂
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