Why do some medication have to be taken in solid form? Why can’t they all just be liquid for those who have trouble swallowing?



Why do some medication have to be taken in solid form? Why can’t they all just be liquid for those who have trouble swallowing?

In: Biology

I guess to control quantity better; need to know exactly how many mgs you’re actually taking. And so no-one impulsively slugs a whole bottle, same as how pills need to be popped out individually so anyone considering taking a handful has to spend longer thinking about it and has a chance to reconsider

Some can be ground up and put in, say, applesauce. But some, that are designed as extended release can’t be, because the capsule containing them is designed to dissolve at a certain rate so that the effect is spread out over a longer time

Can be for various reasons.

A solid tablet allows for accurate dosage control of the active agent over time by structuring its layers and components in a way that they dissolve in a predictable manner.

*Taking* medication is also only the final step. Before that come multiple different iterations of transactions, storage and manufacturing. The specific form a medication takes is a compromise between the requirements of all those different steps.

In many cases, pills act as a “container” for the actual ingredients to protect them from stomach acid. This way, the ingredients can actually make it into the intestines and do whatever they’re supposed to do.

Some are extended release or timed release pills. This makes the delivery more reliable and convenient. (A liquid form might need someone to take a dose every 2 hours which would be very inconvenient and easy to make mistakes)

Things dissolved in liquid are harder to carry around, easier to get the dosage wrong and may also have less shelf life.

The problem with liquid medication is the reduced accuracy of dosage, because just bc the liquid makes it into your mouth doesn’t mean it makes it all the way into your stomach and digestive system. For example, what if you spit right after taking the liquid medication; probably some of that liquid is in the spit.

Hey, a question I can help with. I am a pharmacist.

In the US, most adults prefer pill dosage forms (tablets, capsules, caplets, etc) over taking a liquid formulation. Since most medications are generally for adults, there isn’t as much of an incentive to develop of liquid form (solution, suspension, or emulsion).

A lot of drugs taste TERRIBLE, and you are not able to make the drug in liquid form palatable. Clindamycin liquid is a great example of this, they made the liquid version to make using in children easier. I try to dissuade providers and parents from using the liquid because the kid won’t be able to stomach it. It tastes absolutely disgusting. I’ve had multiple parents ignore my advice, then come back the following morning asking if we can get them switched to clindamycin capsules.

The other discussions about extended release formulations are only part of the story, there are ways to make the medication slowly release over time in a liquid, but they are way more expensive currently. Quillivent XR and Dynavel XR are the two that come to my mind.