Difference Between Capsules and Tablets (With Table)

In the case of oral medication, both capsules and tablets are very popular choices. They deliver a certain supplement or drug into your digestive tract. Although both capsules and tablets work in a parallel manner, there are some key differences within them as well. It’s better to know which one to choose for better suitability to your body.

Capsules vs Tablets

The difference between capsules and tablets is that capsules, when swallowed, get absorbed into the bloodstream immediately and show response. In comparison, tablets are generally coated with sugar or some kind of chemicals that do not let the tablet break faster and hence do not get absorbed into the bloodstream immediately or show response. The price of the capsules is generally high, compared to relatively cheaper tablets.

Capsules constitute jelly or powdery substances within a plastic container, which gets dissolve later. Capsules can not be cut into any number of pieces. Capsules get absorbed into the bloodstream as soon as they enter. Capsules have a lesser shelf life in comparison to tablets. Capsules retain their potential for less time. Capsules are available in one size only. Capsules can be swallowed easily. Capsules work faster than tablets.

In tablets, the powder is compressed into a solid form. These can be broken into two or cut into any number of pieces as required. Tablets do not get absorbed immediately into the bloodstream when swallowed. They have more shelf life. They can retain their potential for a longer time and thus can be stored for a longer time as well. These are found in different sizes and shapes. They may create a problem for kids while swallowing. Tablets take time to show their response. Capsules are generally high compared to relatively cheaper tablets.

Comparison Table Between Capsules and Tablets

Parameters of ComparisonCapsulesTablets
FormConstitute jelly or powdery substance within a plastic container, which gets dissolve later.The powder in the case of a tablet 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 any number of 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 similar to the tablets. Capsules are mainly of two types. Some capsules are hard-shelled whereas, some capsules are soft get.

The hard-shelled capsules are made up of two halves. Both the halves together 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 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, 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. Several 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 half by breaking them into two. Sometimes the tablets are made specifically to get digested in the small intestine only. Some tablets can be chewed directly and called ODT or orally dissolved tablets. They get dissolved when coming in contact with human saliva.

Main Differences Between Capsules and Tablets

  1. Capsules constitute jelly or powdery substances within a plastic container, which gets dissolve later. Whereas, In tablets, the powder is compressed into a solid form.
  2. Capsules can not be cut into any number of pieces. But tablets can be broken into two or cut into any number of pieces as required.
  3. Capsules get absorbed into the bloodstream assesses soon as they enter. Whereas tablets do not get absorbed immediately into the bloodstream when swallowed.
  4. Capsules have an er shelf life in comparison to tablets, which have more or higher shelf life.
  5. Capsules retain their potential for less time, whereas tablets retain their potential for a longer time and thus can be stored for a longer time as well.
  6. Capsules are available in one size only. However, tablets can be found in different sizes and shapes.
  7. Capsules are expensive. Whereas tablets are relatively cheaper than capsules.
  8. Capsules can be swallowed easily. However, tablets may create a problem for kids while swallowing.
  9. Capsules work faster than tablets. Whereas tablets take time to show their response.

Conclusion

Capsules and tablets are both two common ways of intake medications through the mouth. They almost work similarly but possess distinct differences between them too. Tablets are available in a variety of shapes and sizes and have a longer shelf life. Tablets accommodate active ingredients at a higher dose than a capsule. Sometimes, inside the body, they can even disintegrate unevenly.

Capsules act faster than tablets, and the drugs get absorbed into the bloodstream quickly. However, capsules are higher in price, and their expiration date comes too quickly. Thus, If a certain human is allergic to specific pill additives, is struggling while swallowing pills, thinks the vegan option is more suitable, then he or she must tell their doctor. Doctors can prescribe or suggest the best alternative which would suit a specific body.

References

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