By Kurt Fegley
It is well known that solid oral dosage forms, particularly tablets, are the most acceptable form of delivering medication. However, some new variations are beginning to emerge such as mini-tabs, which offer formulation flexibility.
Mini-tabs are small tablets with a diameter typically equal to or less than 3 mm that are typically filled into a capsule, or occasionally, further compressed into larger tablets. It is possible to incorporate many different mini-tablets, each one formulated individually and programmed to release drug at different sites within the gastrointestinal track, into one capsule. These combinations may include immediate release, delayed release, and/or controlled release mini-tabs.
It is also possible to incorporate mini-tabs of different drugs to treat concurrent diseases or combinations of drugs to improve overall therapeutic outcome, while delivering distinct release rates of each according to disease requirements. Mini-tabs could also offer a solution to the current issue in the pharmaceutical industry representing a lack of dosage forms which are suitable for pediatrics.
Mini-tabs combine the advantages of multiparticulate dosage forms with the established manufacturing techniques of tableting. Additional benefits of mini-tabs include excellent size uniformity, regular shape and a smooth surface, thereby offering an excellent substrate for coating with modified release polymeric systems. They can be produced via direct compression and can be manufactured using conventional tableting machines with only minor equipment modifications. For example, in order to increase production speeds, multiple-tip tooling has been employed routinely. Furthermore, mini-tabs can be coated using either a perforated coating pan or a fluid bed apparatus.
Colorcon, a world leader in the development, supply and technical support of formulated coatings and other excipients for the pharmaceutical industry, provides several functional polymers and coatings for mini-tab formulations and has developed application knowledge in mini-tabs and mini-matrices using conventional tableting and coating equipment. To learn more about the enteric coating of lansoprazole mini-tabs, you may view the results of a study published on Colorcon’s website at http://www.colorcon.com/literature/marketing/mr/Delayed%20Release/Nutrateric/English/poster_2008_mini-tabs.pdf.
About the Author
Kurt Fegely, MS, is Market Development Manager of Excipients at Colorcon.
Colorcon is a world leader in the development, supply and technical support of formulated coatings and excipients for the pharmaceutical industry. With Colorcon as their pharmaceutical product development partner, companies produce cost effective, high quality products with superior performance and appearance. To learn more, please visit http://www.colorcon.com/.