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Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer

Taste-Masking of Particles in Oral Dosage Forms

Liquid suspensions, chewable tablets or oral disintegrating tablets (ODT) are especially useful for infants and children where swallowing tablets or capsules is difficult and could be a choking hazard. They are also useful for geriatric patients where swallowing is difficult. Recently 'convenience dosing' has become increasingly important - a person may wish to take a medication in situations where water is not available, so simply chewing a quickly disintegrating tablet would be desirable.

If the taste of an active pharmaceutical ingredient is not too unpleasant, simply adding a flavour may mask its taste. However, if the drug is especially bitter or foul tasting, as is the case for many antibiotics, analgesics and CNS drugs, coating of the active ingredient particles or forming other controlled-dissolution dosage forms may be required. The sprinkle formulation, used more often in Europe and the Far East, is another dosage form which may benefit from taste-masking, and masking the taste of some veterinary drugs is becoming increasingly important.

The general requirement in taste-masking is to delay the release of the drug sufficiently to eliminate immediate taste, but also to delay the release from particles trapped between the teeth, in the gum line and so on for a total of perhaps five to 10 minutes, after which they are largely carried away by saliva flow. Release of the drug should be kept to a minimum over this period of time.


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By Dr Robert Sparks, Director of R&D, and Dr Irwin Jacobs, Director of Chemical Technology, at Particle and Coating Technologies Inc

Dr Robert Sparks is Director of R&D at Particle and Coating Technologies Inc, a company focused on the development and licensing of new processes and products. His main interests are in developing new methods of coating particles and unusual forms of controlled release.

He was Professor of Chemical Engineering at Washington University (St Louis) until 1995, when, along with the other personnel of his laboratory, he resigned to form the company. Dr Sparks holds a doctorate in Chemical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and formerly taught at Case Western Reserve University.

Dr Irwin Jacobs is Director of Chemical Technology at Particle and Coating Technologies, primarily focused on formulation development using a variety of microencapsulation and controlled release technologies. His research interests include unique formulations for spray drying, as well as various pharmaceutical and nutritional supplement delivery methods and bioavailability enhancement techniques.

Dr Jacobs received a BS in Chemistry from Drexel University, a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the Johns Hopkins University, and was also a post-doctoral Research Associate in the pharmacy college at Ohio State University.
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Dr Robert Sparks
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Dr Irwin Jacobs
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