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Manufacture Dosage Forms, Technology and Equipment, Formulation, Facilities

The Power of Productivity

sponsored by Colorcon

Why is coating important? Aesthetically, a coated tablet looks more appealing, which can impact how a patient feels about their medicine. A well-presented coated tablet, free from defects, gives patients confidence that it’s high quality and a trusted product from a reputable company. A coated tablet also provides many important advantages directly to the consumer. Consider patient compliance as one example. An uncoated tablet will often be chalky and, for some patients, unpalatable, since there is nothing to mask the texture or taste. There is also a high chance that the tablet will stick during the swallowing process. If a patient finds taking their medicine difficult or unpleasant then they are less likely to adhere to the prescribed regimen. Coatings can help overcome this issue. For example, we have developed Opadry EZ, easy swallow coating, which provides exceptional slip when the coating becomes wet, making the tablet easier to swallow. This can be particularly important where a large tablet size is unavoidable. 

A coating also provides the opportunity for differentiation and prevention of medication mix ups. Some companies choose a simple white coating, but when all tablets look the same there is a higher risk of errors, particularly where patients must take multiple medications. The FDA encourages companies to consider differentiation – especially amongst various dosage levels.  Application of a pigmented coating can help to avoid dispensing and administration of the wrong dosage or other look-alike errors. Going back to aesthetics, including color can also make a tablet look more attractive and impart stronger brand recognition. 

In addition, coating can convey specific functional properties to a tablet, such as moisture barrier protection or light protection; and modified release coatings allow the drug release to be delayed or targeted to a specific site. 

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About the Author

Kelly Boyer

Film Coating General Manager at Colorcon.

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