Capsules vs Tablets in Medicine: Which Is Better?

- Thursday, May 9, 2024

When you choose a machine for medicine making, you may encounter a variety of equipment. They are designed for producing different dosage forms, notably capsules and tablets. Both of them can quickly break down and release medicine in your stomach and intestines. Then it gets absorbed into your bloodstream and takes effect. Though looking similar, they are quite different.

This article will help you understand the features and differences between capsules and tablets. Then you can make more informed decisions to meet your production needs.

What Do Capsules Mean in Medicine Industry?


As one of the most popular dosage forms, capsules have a shell to hold medicine. The shell is like a container for the content. It protects the active ingredients, keeping them safe from anything outside that could make them degrade.

Capsules can contain various types of medicine ingredients, including solid powder, liquid, gel, etc.

Four Types of Capsules in the Medicine Industry

Based on the medication features and the shell materials, it can be divided into the following four types.

Gelatin Capsules

Most capsules available in the market today are made of gelatin. It's usually made from animal collagen, extracted from pig or cow skin. Gelatin is preferred because of its stability and good digestibility.

Vegetarian Capsules

vegetarian capsules

Besides gelatin, the capsule shell can also be made from plant-based materials, such as plant fibers and starch. They are called vegetarian capsules. If your customers prefer a vegetarian styles, this type could be a good choice.

Hard Capsules

hard capsules

As the name says, hard capsules have firm shells. Most of them are composed of gelatin. This type includes two parts: the capsule cap and the body. It could be filled with powder, granules, or tiny solid medicines. You can use different types of capsule filling machines like automatic capsule fillers to get the type you need.



They are made by mixing gelatin with plasticizers like glycerin. The shells are soft and flexible. Soft capsules can hold liquid or gel medicines, such as fish oil. You can work through a capsule gel oil filling machine to get soft capsules.

What Is a Tablet in Pharmacy?


Tablets are a solid pharmaceutical dosage form. They come in different shapes, such as circles and ovals. Conventional tablets are mainly made of active ingredients. And they also add other stuff, like adhesives or flavorings, to hold the medicine together and make it taste better.

Three Major Types of Tablets in the Pharmacy Industry

Besides regular pills, they also have many different types and forms. The most common ones are as follows.

Coated Tablets

Coated Tablets

This is a type of pill where a special coating is added to the surface. The purpose is to make the medicine more stable, hide any bad smells, and make the pill look better. Some common coated tablets include sugar-coated pills, film-coated pills, and enteric-coated tablets.

Chewable Tablets

chewable tablets

This tablet can be chewed to swallow. Besides medicine, it's often made with sugar or mint to make it taste better. Chewable tablets are a good choice If you're considering children's health products. Also, it suits people who find it difficult to swallow medicine.

Effervescent Tablets

Effervescent Tablets

This tablet contains effervescent disintegrants, which allow it to quickly dissolve in water. Such tablets are commonly used for soluble medications, such as vitamin C effervescent tablets.

Four Differences between Capsules and Tablets

Capsules and tablets are very different. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Manufacturing Differences

Capsules get filled up by different machines. The process goes as follows. The capsule filling machines fill the ingredients into the empty capsules with a filling head. Then they seal the capsule body and cap together to make a whole capsule product. Unlike tablets, capsules don't need adhesives during production.

Capsule Filling Machine

Tablets are made through tablet press machines. These machines use pressure to compress powder into tablet shapes. Then they apply enough force to make sure the tablets are stable and of good quality.

Tablet Press Machine

Dose Flexibility

Capsules have limits on how much medicine they can hold. If you want to make a big dose capsule, the capsule itself will become big. So it would be harder to swallow.

Tablets have some clear pros in this area. They can hold a larger volume of medicine. If tablets are big, they can also be cut into smaller pieces for taking. Some tablets even have special lines on them to make cutting easier.

Swallowing and Taste Contrasts

Capsules are smooth and easy to swallow. In contrast, tablets might have edges or corners that can stick in your throat or esophagus. It may cause discomfort or make them hard to swallow.

Moreover, capsules can hide the bad taste of the ingredient because of a shell covering. On the other hand, some tablets may have unpleasant or bitter tastes, especially for medicines with strong chemicals or strong smells. Additionally, since the medicine in tablets directly contacts the intestines, it might cause some side effects like stomach or intestinal irritation.

Storage Conditions

The cons of capsules is that they are sensitive to humidity, temperature, and light. They may deform or break when exposed to great changes in heat or humidity.

The storage conditions for tablets are not as strict as for capsules. Just keep them away from moisture, in a cool, dark place.

The End

As two common dosage forms in the medicine industry, capsules and tablets have their pros and cons in different aspects. Capsules are good at hiding the medicine smell and easy to swallow. Tablets are available in a wide range of colors and shapes. Which is better depends on your desired medicine nature and treatment needs.

If you're looking for high-quality pharmaceutical machinery to improve production efficiency, iPharMachine is a good choice. We offer various advanced pharmaceutical machinery equipment to meet your requirements. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.


Leave your comment

Also Offers