Effervescent Dosage Manufacturing

Effervescent tablets are an interesting oral solid dosage form, offering some unique advantages when compared with simple tablets. However, the manufacturing process involves some critical steps that need to be addressed carefully during formulation and factory design.

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Oral dosage forms are still the most popular way of taking medication, despite having some disadvantages compared with other methods. One such disadvantage is the risk of slow absorption of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API), which can be overcome by administering the drug in liquid form and, therefore, possibly allowing the use of a lower dosage. However, because many APIs only show a limited level of stability in liquid form, effervescent tablets, which are dissolved in water before administration, have been formulated as an alternative dosage form.

Advantages of effervescent tablets compared with other oral dosage forms include an opportunity for formulators to improve the taste, a less aggressive delivery method and the consumer appeal associated with taking a fizzy tablet. The disadvantages of effervescent dosage forms are the need for larger tablets, a complex production process and, very often, the need for specialist packaging materials.

Effervescent Fundamentals

Effervescents consist of a soluble organic acid and an alkali metal carbonate salt, one of which is often the API. Carbon dioxide is formed if this mixture comes into contact with water. Producing effervescent tablets requires a conventional oral solid dosage form manufacturing process that has been adapted to include additional features because of the unique characteristics of the product.

The GEA Solution

From contained material handling systems, including the use of intermediate bulk containers (IBCs), docking stations, split valve technology and specialist ventilation infrastructures, to granulation and drying, GEA offers a range of innovative, standard and customized plant and components to process hygroscopic materials. Experts in dry methods such as slugging, direct compression and roller compaction, we also provide wet, single-pot and fluid bed spray granulation/drying equipment and blenders for the production of OTC, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical effervescent tablets.

Furthermore, GEA’s range of pharmaceutical and industrial rotary tablet presses provides a number of options for the high volume production of large tablets, including continuous manufacturing in low humidity environments, and gas tight packaging lines can be supplied on demand.