Why put the medicine in the capsule

  Capsules are a common clinical drug dosage form, accounting for about 20% of the prescriptions prescribed by doctors. The earliest capsules were produced in 1834 and were made by a French pharmacist using gelatin. The reason why the medicine is made into capsules is to cover up the bad smell of the medicine, prevent the medicine from irritating the mouth and esophagus, protect the physical and chemical properties of the medicine, and control the release rate of the medicine. Today’s capsules are generally divided into two types, namely hard capsules and soft capsules. Hard capsules can be used for powder, liquid, and semi-solid medicine filling, and soft capsules are used for liquid and semi-solid filling. In addition to being a carrier for oral bulk drugs, capsules can also be used to load inhaled dry powders (such as tiotropium bromide powder inhalation, which can only be inhaled), vaginal delivery carriers (such as recombinant human interferon vaginal effervescent capsules), etc. .
  The main reason why the capsule shell is sticky is that it is made of gelatin. Gelatin is a protein product, in which 85%~90% is protein, 9%~12% is water, and 0.3%~2% is mineral, which can be digested in the body. In order for the capsuled drug to be effective, it needs to be controlled to disintegrate in time in the body to accurately release the drug. The Chinese Pharmacopoeia stipulates that hard capsules should disintegrate within 30 minutes, and soft capsules should disintegrate within 1 hour. Ordinary capsules can disintegrate in acidic gastric juice; enteric-coated capsules need to enter the small intestine in an alkaline environment before they disintegrate; there is also a colon-coated capsule that requires a more precise pH of the disintegration environment.
  It is precisely because of the above characteristics of the capsule dosage form that it is best to be taken orally directly, especially the following three types are even less suitable for use: ①The packaged drug is more irritating, strong in smell, bitter in taste, or may irritate the esophagus and stomach , Such as doxycycline, rifampicin, ibuprofen, dilendronate sodium, etc.; ②Drugs wrapped in enteric-coated capsules may be destroyed in gastric acid or cause greater irritation to the stomach; ③ Sustained and controlled release capsules need to be released slowly and steadily. Once opened and taken, the drug concentration will fluctuate and induce adverse reactions, such as isosorbide mononitrate sustained-release capsules.
  Undeniably, not everyone can swallow a capsule easily. According to incomplete statistics, one in 25 adults has difficulty swallowing. For this group of people, you can try the following methods when taking capsules: ① Stand upright or keep your upper body upright; ② Before taking the capsule, drink a sip of water and moisten your throat to avoid the capsule sticking to the esophagus when swallowing. Put the capsule in your mouth and drink water to swallow it; ③Adopting forward tilting method helps to swallow the capsule smoothly. The steps are: first put the capsule on the tongue, and then drink a sip of water. Do not swallow it immediately. Tilt the chin to the chest, let the capsule float to the back of the mouth, and then swallow it; ④ Hot water (slightly lower than 40℃) should not be used when taking the capsule, so as not to cause the capsule shell to soften, which is not conducive to swallowing; ⑤ Use plenty of water For delivery, 200-250 ml is appropriate.