May 22, 2024

Orodispersible Tablets: An innovative approach to medication

Introduction

Orodispersible tablets, also known as mouth-dissolving tablets, are a novel pharmaceutical dosage form that disintegrates or dissolves rapidly in the oral cavity, without requiring water or chewing. This innovative tablet technology offers several advantages over conventional tablet dosage forms, making medication more convenient and accessible for several patient populations. In this article, we explore orodispersible tablets in more detail by looking at their formulation, advantages, applications, manufacturing approaches and future prospects.

Formulation and characteristics

Orodispersible tablets are designed to rapidly disintegrate or dissolve in the oral cavity within 60 seconds. This fast action is achieved by incorporating special excipients and manufacturing technologies. The key excipients used are superdisintegrants like cross-linked cellulose and cross-povidone which promote rapid water absorption and breakdown of the tablet matrix when it comes in contact with saliva. In addition, orodispersible tablets also have a porous structure with large intra- and inter-particulate spaces that aid quick disintegration. This porosity is created during the manufacturing process through freeze drying, molding or sublimation approaches.

The fast disintegration and dissolution properties allow orodispersible tablets to be administered anywhere, anytime without the need for water. The medication gets released in the oral cavity and can be easily swallowed as a liquid suspension by patients. Due to their porous nature, these tablets also have a tendency to leave minimal residues or friable matters in the mouth after administration.

Advantages

The key feature of rapid dissolution in the oral cavity offered by orodispersible tablets provides several therapeutic advantages:

Convenience: These tablets are very convenient to administer as water is not required. Patients can simply place the tablet in their mouth where it disintegrates easily. This makes them highly patient compliant especially for those who are incapable of swallowing conventional tablets like pediatric, geriatric patients.

ideal for allergic conditions: Patients who are allergic or sensitive to convention dosage forms find orodispersible tablets more suitable as they dissolve in mouth without triggering allergies. This makes them ideal for conditions like hay fever, sinusitis, coughs and colds.

Improved bioavailability: The rapid disintegration and absorption of drug in oral cavity leads to higher bioavailability compared to conventional tablets as the drug avoids metabolism in the liver during first pass. This helps achieve therapeutic effects quicker with reduced dose.

Portability: Being lightweight and easy to carry, orodispersible tablets provide better portability compared to other dosage forms. This makes them suitable for travel or whenever only plain water is available for administration.

Applications

Due to the unique advantages, orodispersible tablets provide an ideal solution for several disease indications where patient compliance is challenge. Some of the important therapeutic areas where these tablets are applied include:

Pediatrics: Orodispersible tablets can make medication easier for children who are unable to swallow conventional tablets. Multi-vitamin, cough-cold preparations are available in this format for kids.

Geriatrics: Due to issues like dysphagia in elderly population, these tablets improve medication adherence as no water is needed. Antihypertensives, analgesics, antidepressants are available.

Psychiatry: Mental conditions like schizophrenia require long term maintenance therapy where patient compliance is poor. Orodispersible versions of anti-psychotics, anxiolytics aid regular administration.

Allergies: As mentioned earlier, allergic rhinitis drugs formulated as orodispersible tablets provide a suitable alternative forHay fever patients who avoid capsules/tablets to prevent triggers.

Travel/outdoor: During camping, picnics are perfect for the quick-dissolving convenience these dosage forms offer when plain water may not be available.

Manufacturing

The key technologies employed for commercial scale manufacturing of orodispersible tablets include:

Freeze drying: Active ingredients and excipients are dissolved/ dispersed in a solvent to form a porous matrix which is freeze dried to evaporate solvent, leaving a lightweight tablet.

Molding: Binding granules containing drugs and superdisintegrants are molded under low compression forces to form porous tablet which rapidly disintegrate.

Sublimation: Tablets are compressed then exposed low pressure to allow sublimation of volatile substances like camphor etc leaving pores behind.

Spray drying: Liquid medication is atomized into hot air chamber to dry it into solid particles which are then compressed into tablets.

Future scope

With several technological and formulation advancements ongoing in the area, orodispersible tablets are expected to grow manifold in the future. Some potential directions include development of:

Combinational drugs: Multivitamins, combinations of NSAIDs+ analgesics in a single orodispersible dosage form.

Controlled release variants: To achieve sustained action over longer duration for conditions requiring once/twice daily dosing.

Taste masking technologies: To improve mouth feel and palatability of bitter drugs through coating etc.

Nanotechnology based formulations: Incorporating nanoemulsions, nanocrystals within orally dissolving matrices.

Biotechnology derivatives: Delivery of proteins, peptides, vaccines etc which currently face stability challenges in solid oral forms.

Conclusion

In summary, orodispersible tablets offer clinicians and patients significant therapeutic advantages over conventional tablets through their unique formulation and rapid disintegration property. With the versatility this delivery platform provides, it has emerged as an innovative dosage form of choice for several disease areas. Continuous advances in technologies are further expanding its applications. Orodispersible tablets thus represent an important paradigm shift in effective and convenient medication delivery.

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  1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
  2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it