Difference Between Tablets And Capsules

Difference Between Tablets And Capsules

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Tablets and capsules are solid unit dosage forms that are to be administered orally. These are the most convenient doses forms for administration. 

What Are Tablets? 

A tablet is a pharmaceutical oral solid unit dosage form that contains a mixture of active substances and excipients in powder form mostly and pressed to form a unit solid dose. 

Tablets are mostly round, oblong, or disc-shaped. They are inexpensive, safe, and effective. The tablets which are administered orally will dissolve in the digestive tract hence acid-labile drugs are not suitable for making into tablets. 

What Are Capsules? 

Capsules are unit dosage forms in which a drug substance is enclosed in a water-soluble shell. The shell of the capsule is made up of gelatin.  

Capsules are tasteless, smooth, and easy to administer. The release of drugs in the digestive tract can be controlled by the type of shell. Some capsules are made to release the drug in the stomach but most of the capsules are made to deliver drugs to the intestine. 

The capsules are of two types. They are 

  1. Hard gelatin capsule 
  2. Soft gelatin capsule 

Hard gelatin capsule: The hard gelatin capsule shell consists of two parts, that are the body and the cap. The capsules are sealed after they are filled with the medicament in powder or granule form. These are prepared from gelatin, titanium dioxide, a coloring agent, and a plasticizer. 

Soft gelatin capsule: The soft gelatin capsule becomes a single unit after sealing. These are prepared from gelatin, plasticizer, and a preservative. Soft gelatin capsules usually consist of liquids or solids dissolved or dispersed in a suitable excipient to give a paste-like consistency. 

Difference Between Tablets And Capsules

Tablets Capsules
Tablets consist of powder compressed into a solid form. Capsules consist of powder or Jelly enclosed inside a water-soluble shell.
Tablets can be cut in half. Capsules can't be split in half.
Tablets are generally coated with sugar to mask bitter or unpleasant tastes. Capsules consist of an outer shell made up of gelatin.
The drug will be released into the bloodstream directly and fastly. The drug will not be released into the bloodstream directly. The drug release occurs very slowly.
Tablets are available in more shapes and sizes. Capsules are available in very few shapes and sizes.
Tablets are less expensive. Capsules are more expensive than tablets.
Tablets are not hygroscopic. Capsules are mostly hygroscopic.
Tablets which are bigger are hard to swallow. Capsules are easy to swallow as they are smooth.
Tablets have more shelf life. Capsules have less shelf life.
Tablets contain only the drugs in solid form. Capsules contain the drug in liquid, solid or semisolid forms.


Tablets and capsules are two common types of oral medications. Although they have similar purposes, they have some key differences. Tablets are solid unit dosage forms whereas capsules are the unit dosage forms that contain solid, liquid, or semi-solid drugs.

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