The role of excipient selection in the development of orally disintegrating tablets

Different dosage forms have a varying impact on patient compliance and their ability to take medications effectively. Many patients struggle to consume standard tablet dosage forms due to various health problems, including dysphagia (a swallowing disorder) and Parkinson’s disease. This also applies to elderly patients and paediatric patients who may find it difficult to take medicines in this form. Orally disintegrating tablets (ODTs), and other fast-dissolving oral dosage forms, offer an alternative delivery option that can bring multiple benefits to paitents who have difficulties taking medicines in tablet or capsule form. 

Orally disintegrating products are gaining increasing attention from the industry by offering distinct advantages in the development of both prescription and over-the-counter medicines.

ODTs are easier for patients to take and subsequently reduce the risk of adverse problems from swallowing, like oesophagitis. In addition, they are formulated to have a pleasant taste and they are supplied in a single dose, which removes any need for measuring prior to administration. ODTs can also be taken without the need for water making them highly convenient for taking ‘on the go’. 

The ability for the active ingredient to rapidly dissolve in the mouth means that ODTs provide a faster onset of action in comparison to other drug delivery formulations making them highly useful for products that need to work quickly, for example pain relief medications. 
In an article with Drug Development and Delivery, our Senior Director, Science & Technology Officer, Torkel Gren, looks at the benefits that orally disintegrating products can bring to patients and discusses the role of excipient selection in their development.

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