Recently, a patient persuaded that he often got stuck in his throat when using capsule medicine and asked if he could remove the capsule shell and take the medicine inside with water. I believe that in daily life, everyone has thought about taking the capsule after removing the shell. Some people feel it is difficult to swallow the capsule, some have stomach upset after taking it, and some are afraid that the heavy metal in the capsule shell will exceed the standard. So, can the capsule be taken separately?
Capsules refer to dosage forms in which drugs and auxiliary materials are filled in hollow hard capsules or elastic soft capsules, including hard capsules, soft capsules, sustained-release capsules, controlled-release capsules and enteric-coated capsules. The capsule shell is mostly made of gelatin, which is a commonly used food additive and has almost no harm to the human body.
Why do drugs need to be made into capsules
1. Drugs with bad odor and unstable structure are generally made into hard capsules, which can play a role in covering, protecting and stabilizing.
2. For hydrophobic drugs with volatile components or poor bioavailability, liquid drugs are usually directly encapsulated into soft capsules to avoid volatilization of the drugs and improve bioavailability.
3. Drugs that need to be administered several times a day and have large adverse reactions or side effects are generally made into slow-release and controlled-release preparations to improve patient compliance and reduce adverse reactions.
4. Drugs that are more irritating to the stomach or need to be effective under alkaline conditions are generally made into enteric-coated capsules, which can protect the gastric mucosa and release the drug effect in specific parts.
Can the capsules be taken apart
1. The drug powder has a pungent smell or tastes very bitter, so it can’t be swallowed directly after taking it directly, and compliance is reduced.
2. Soft capsules usually contain oily volatiles in a liquid state. Do not break them apart, otherwise the medicine will fail.
3. The drug powder can irritate the throat and gastric mucosa, cause discomfort, and even cause serious adverse reactions such as mucosal damage.
4. Enteric-coated capsules are affected by gastric acid after breaking open, which can cause inactivation of the drug effect.
5. After the sustained-release capsule is broken, the drug is released in a large amount in a short time, causing adverse reactions. In particular, slow- and controlled-release preparations for lowering blood pressure and blood sugar can cause hypotension, hypoglycemia, and even life-threatening when taken apart.
Therefore, try not to open the capsule and take it. If you do have difficulty swallowing or take a small dose of medicine, you should consult your doctor or pharmacist in advance to change other dosage forms of medicine, such as effervescent, granules, oral liquid, etc.
As the saying goes, swallow pills with your head up, and capsules with your head down. The density of pills is higher than that of water, which will cause the pills to sink and raise their heads in the water in which they are taken, allowing the water to take the pills homeopathically through the pharynx. Capsules are less dense than water and easily float on the surface. Lowering your head can raise the pharynx. With the swallowing action, the capsule will float across the pharynx with the water, so there is no need to worry about the pills or capsules being swallowed.