There are several types of tablet coating processes, making it difficult to select the right method that works effectively with your drug’s pharmaceutical ingredients. But that’s not the only thing efficient tablet coatings are required to do. Thomas Engineering explains how to select the right type of coating method for tablet production.
The Different Coating Methods for Tablet Production
The tablet coating procedure makes pharmaceutical drugs in solid dosage form more effective and easier to ingest. While tablet coatings have the same general functions, such as masking the odor taste and ensuring shelf life protection, there are several types of coating materials for tablets that coat surfaces differently and affect the end result of the medication in unique ways.
Types of Coating Materials for Tablets
Below are the most common types of coating materials for tablets:
Developed to mask medication taste and provide the tablet with an attractive appearance using color, the process of sugar coating tablets includes:
- Using a seal coat over the tablet prevents moisture from entering the tablet’s core.
- Sub-coating is used to round the edges of the tablet and increase its weight.
- Syrup Coating
- The tablet’s imperfections are covered using syrup coating. It’s predetermined size requirement is also met during this step.
- Coloring gives the tablet an improved appearance.
- Powered wax, typically beeswax or carnauba, is used to give the tablet an attractive lester.
Because the sugar coating process is time consuming, it’s more common in the tablet coating industry to use film coating. This process involves spraying a solution that includes polymer, pigments, and plasticizer into a rotating tablet bed, forming a thin, uniform film on tablet surfaces. Ideal film coating materials should:
- Be soluble in a solvent of your choice
- Produce an elegant coat finish
- Be stable in the presence of heat, light, and moisture
- Refrain from having a disagreeable color, taste, and odor
- Be non-toxic and pharmacologically inert
- Be compatible with coating additives
Active Drug Layering
The process of active drug layering involves depositing the drug on the subtrate’s surface. An active substance is layered as a powder onto the tablet’s core using various methods, such as a coating pan. Sustained or controlled-release tablets typically use powder coating technologies for pharmaceutical production.
Extended release tablet coating uses a polymer applied to the oral medication to protect the drug from stomach acid, ensuring that the drug takes full effect. Extended release coating also protects the stomach lining to prevent damage to its inner walls.
Advantages of the Pharmaceutical Coating Process
No matter which coating method you choose, the pharmaceutical coating process is a crucial part of tablet production with a variety of advantages:
- Adding durability during packaging, shipping and transportation to protect its shelf life
- Marketing requirements for product and dosage identification
- Masking the taste or odor of a medication to make it more palatable
- Protecting the dosage from possible contamination or degradation from outside effects
- Modifying the release of the drug to occur slowly or over time with a sustained release
- Making sure the medication survives the stomach acid to get to the small intestine and other organs
- Protects the stomach from the effects of potent compounds that may cause irritation
- Allows for incorporating two different drugs that should only be combined once inside the human body
Thomas: Bringing Innovation to Different Coating Methods
There are a lot of factors to consider when selecting a pharmaceutical coating process. But with Thomas Engineering as your tablet coating expert, you can leave the analyzing up to us. Remembering and watching out for dozens of tablet coating problems and remedies is a daunting task, but when you purchase quality tablet coating equipment from us, such as our industry-leading Accela-Cota PRO or FLEX line, you get a partner who offers you ongoing support, too. You can depend on Thomas for spare parts and equipment maintenance after your purchase is made. We’re dedicated to driving innovative results in tablet coating machinery, and we do so by providing superior after-purchase customer service for our clients. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you find the right machine for your pharmaceutical coating process needs.