Difference Between Capsules and Tablets

In the case of oral medication, both capsules and tablets are trendy choices. They deliver a specific supplement or drug into your digestive tract.


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Although both capsules and tablets work parallelly, there are some critical differences between them. It’s better to know which one to choose for better suitability for your body.

Capsules vs Tablets

Capsules are gelatine shells filled with a powdered form of medication and are easy for the body to absorb. They are also easier to swallow for people who have difficulty with larger tablets. Tablets are made by compressing medication into a solid form. They are easier to manufacture and store than capsules and can contain different types of medication in a single dose.

Capsules vs Tablets

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCapsulesTablets
FormConstitute jelly or powdery substance within a plastic container, which gets dissolved later.In the case of a tablet, the powder is compressed into a solid form.
DivisionCapsules can not be cut into any number of pieces.Tablets can be broken into two or cut into pieces as required.
AbsorptionCapsules get absorbed into the bloodstream as soon as they enter.Tablets do not get absorbed immediately into the bloodstream.
Shelf LifeCapsules have a lesser shelf life. Tablets have more or higher shelf life.
Potential Capsules retain their potential for less time. Tablets retain their potential for a longer time.
AvailabilityCapsules are available in one size only. Tablets can be found in different sizes and shapes.
PriceCapsules are expensive. Tablets are relatively cheaper than capsules.
Intake methodCapsules can be swallowed easily.Tablets may create a problem for kids while swallowing.
ActionCapsules work faster than tablets. Tablets take time to show their response.

What are Capsules?

Capsules are those medications that are enclosed within an outer shell. The outer shell gets dissolved inside the bloodstream after it breaks down in the digestive tract. It works almost similarly to tablets.

Capsules are mainly of two types. Some capsules are hard-shelled, whereas some capsules are soft-shelled.

The hard-shelled capsules are made up of two halves. Both halves make a closed casing, inside which dry medication or drug is present in pellet or powder form.

Sometimes medication present inside the capsules is in liquid form too and is thus called LFHC or liquid-filled hard capsules. Soft gel capsules are slightly wider and semi-transparent in appearance.


What are Tablets?

Tablets are one of the common types of pills. Their price is not much high. Tablets are safe and affordable, and they deliver effective ways as oral medication.

The pills are manufactured by compressing the powder into a smooth-coated pill which later dissolves inside the digestive tract. Other additives are also present in tablets to improve their texture, appearance, and taste.

Tablets are available in several shapes and sizes. They can be oblong, round, or even disc-shaped. The tablets can be swallowed in half by breaking them into two. Sometimes the tablets are made specifically to get digested in the small intestine.

Some tablets can be chewed directly and called ODT or orally dissolved tablets. They get dissolved when coming in contact with human saliva.

Difference Between Capsules and Tablets


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022354915337266
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0149291806002219
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