Tablets are one of the most widely used forms of medication today. They’re easy to swallow and can be conveniently taken with water or any other beverage. But how do you ensure that your tablets remain hard enough to survive their journey through the digestive system? Enter binders – compounds that enhance tablets’ hardness, stability, and shelf life. In this article, we’ll examine whether binders increase tablet hardness and discuss how to make pills with them.
A binder is an excipient added during the manufacturing of tablets and capsules. It helps these medications hold their shape by giving them support and structure. Binders also have several other benefits including increased tablet strength, improved bioavailability, reduced dusting on tablet surfaces, and better appearance. Depending on its composition, a binder can be either soluble or insoluble in water, volatile or non-volatile, and have different degrees of hydrophilicity (water loving) or hydrophobicity (water-hating).
Do Binders Increase Tablet Hardness?
Yes! Adding binders to tablets increases their hardness significantly by making them more resistant to mechanical shock from external forces such as handling or transportation. This ensures they don’t get damaged while passing through the digestive system which can affect their efficacy if they break down prematurely. In addition, hard tablets tend to last longer on store shelves because they are less susceptible to degradation due to moisture absorption or gas exchange with air.
Types Of Binders Used To Make Tablets
There are several types of binders available for use in tablet manufacturing, but some are more commonly used than others due to their unique properties:
1) Cellulose ethers
These synthetic polymers derived from cellulose offer both good compressibility and binding power, making them ideal for compression moulding into solid dosage forms such as tablets. Commonly used cellulose ethers include hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose (HPMC), methyl cellulose (MC), sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (SCMC), ethyl cellulose (EC), etc.
2) Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP)
PVP is a water-soluble polymer that provides excellent inter-particle adhesion and superior compaction properties, allowing the formation of very hard compressed dosage forms such as pellets and granules that resist crushing forces when swallowed.
This natural product derived from animal sources has been used for centuries as an effective binder in pharmaceutical applications due to its ability to adhere strongly without leaving any residue after dissolution in water, ensuring maximum drug release efficiency.
4) Cross-linked polyvinyl alcohol (PVA)
PVA is one of the strongest binders available for use in tablet manufacturing due to its high tensile strength, which allows it to withstand extreme mechanical stress without breaking apart during digestion, thus significantly increasing the overall tablet life compared to traditional gelatin-based formulations.
5) Lactose & Starch
These two ingredients play an important role in providing greater cohesiveness between the particles, while at the same time providing sufficient flexibility to allow them to retain their desired shape when compressed, even under high-pressure conditions such as those experienced in the stomach during ingestion.
How are pills made with binders?
The use of binders doesn’t just increase the hardness of the tablet, it also helps to maintain the uniformity of all the units produced by creating a tight bond between the powders in each individual pill or capsule, preventing contamination or segregation between the components over time. Therefore, proper mixing techniques must always be employed when creating blends containing various APIs, fillers, flavours and colours, followed by step-by-step compaction procedures using appropriate machinery such as rotary presses and vibratory sifters, before finally coating/polishing as required. Once completed, each batch should undergo rigorous quality control tests before being released for commercial use.
In conclusion, the addition of binders during the manufacturing process does indeed significantly increase the hardness of tablets, making them much more resistant to external forces up to the point of ingestion. Furthermore, by using the correct techniques, manufacturers can quickly and efficiently produce uniform, marketable tablets without compromising the quality standards set by regulatory authorities around the world.