Schools Training

Pharmaceutical Testing Process of Medicated Tablets

11 OCT 2012
Career Path : Healthcare

As the industry of pharmaceutical drugs has grown and diversified over the centuries, we have been continuously locating and isolating the most efficient and effective method for administering medicine. There are several main forms a drug can take, and for each form, an ideal method of taking it.


Mucosal membrane medicines are absorbed through various parts of the body often where the skin meets orifices, for example at the eyes, throat, ear, as well as the rectal and vaginal orifices. These medicines work through slow absorption. Medicinal creams and ointments can also be applied to the skin’s surface to work through a slow, drug release system. Likewise transdermal patches are also used this way. Injection directly into the bloodstream with a liquid solution is very common form of medicinal intake, especially where the desired effects are needed immediately.


Perhaps the most common form of drug we are familiar with in our everyday use are those we swallow. Aside from liquid, gastrointestinal medicine is often in the form of tablets, which are compressed powders. Capsules can also be swallowed, which are made with disintegrating casings filled with either liquids or powders.


All forms of medicine must be undergo pharmaceutical testing, and to give an example of the range of qualities tested, let us take the drug tablet as an example.



Tablets, or other gelatin capsules, work by entering the body whole by ingesting, and from there, they begin to disintegrate into smaller particles that the body can easily use. This is not the final stage of the tablet but necessary to ensure the next stage, which involves full absorption into the fluids of the gastrointestinal tract. One important pharmaceutical testing factor is the tablet’s resistance to being broken up.



Only after a tablet has been adequately disintegrated can the process of dissolution begin. The disintegrated particles should be small enough that they can be completely dissolved before the drug can pass into regular systemic circulation. Examining the rate at which the particles completely dissolve is a main factor of dissolution testing.



This is the quality of a tablet to withstand being chipped or crumbled. It often relates more to a tablet’s ability to remain whole in manufacturing, packaging and shipping rather than in its ingestion. Tablets must be hard enough to avoid being broken up, and for this reason, friability must be tested alongside its disintegration ability to make sure that it won’t break in the bottle but will break up in the body.


Disintegration, dissolution, and friability are just three examples of qualities tested with pharmaceutical tablets. When undergoing pharmaceutical training, one learns many more tests for tablets, liquids, ointments and powders. Quality testing means quality medication, and this can only lead to a higher quality of healthcare.



Visit the Academy of Applied Pharmaceutical Sciences for information on pharmaceutical courses.