Let's make enteric coated tablets
When taking a tablet, it is usually the job of our stomach to break down the medication to make it ready to be absorbed into the bloodstream. However, some drugs are not meant to be dissolved in the stomach because the acidic pH of the stomach can disintegrate the drug, making it no longer effective. Using tablet coating equipment that applies a polymer barrier to the tablet makes it possible to protect it from stomach acidity.
Which enteric coated tablets equipment do you need?
Industrial sieving machine for pharmaceuticals
Fluidized bed system for the granulation and drying of pharmaceuticals
Pharmaceutical tablet coating machine
Single-use containment valves
High containment split butterfly valve
Premium vacuum conveyor
Compact blister machine
R&D electronic counter for capsules and tablets
Small bottle checkweigher
Sorption dehumidifier with air-chilled condenser
Small portable dehumidifier
Sorption dehumidifier for large temperature differences
Sorption dehumidifier for deep drying
Dehumidifier for difficult wet airflows
Sorption dehumidifier for overpressured rooms
Heat recycling sorption dehumidifier
Industrial desiccant dehumidifier
Large scale desiccant dehumidifier
Small feeder with flexible wall hopper
Entry-level high-shear mixer for drug formulation
Conical mill for drug formulation
Fluid bed dryer for production scale
Granulation line of mixer and fluid bed dryer
Lab scale single layer tablet press
Rotary tablet press
Single and double layer tablet press
Automatic tablet coater for lab scale
Tablet auto coater for lab scale
High capacity weight sorter for tablets & capsules
Entry-level blister packaging machine
Industrial blister packaging machine
Plate sealing blister machine
Continuous pack cartoner
Side-load case packer
Serialization coding and labeling equipment
Stand-alone aggregation station
Automatic blister packaging machine
Semi-automatic case packer
Metal detector for tablets and capsules
Dust-tight metal detector for tablets
Wash-in-Place metal detector for tablets
Metal detector for bottles
Tablet counting machine
Pharmaceutical bottle unscrambler
Dessicant inserting machine
Tablet coater for laboratory scale
Lifter and De-duster for Tablets
High Speed Visual Inspection System for Tablets
High speed bottle filler with inspection
Contained Visual Inspection System
Clinical trial lab sealer for a laminar airflow bench
Serialized labels inspection and printing station
Vision inspection system for tablets and capsules
Pharmaceutical data management software
Serialization and aggregation inspection system
Individual item serialization equipment
Entry-level X-ray inspection system
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Why is an enteric-coated tablet needed?
So if it can’t be the stomach’s job to dissolve the tablets, whose job will that be? Enteric comes from the Greek word énteron, meaning intestine. As we mentioned earlier, some drugs like Rabeprazole or Pantoprazole are destroyed by the acidic pH of the stomach acids.
The funny thing is that these drugs are meant to reduce the acids in the stomach, but they are destroyed by the acids themselves without having a chance to provide their effectiveness. So they need to bypass the stomach and be released in the small intestine.
The enteric coating ensures that the tablet remains unaltered and stable in the stomach’s acidic pH (pH ~3) but breaks down and dissolves at higher pH (alkaline, pH 7–9) of the intestine. On the other hand, some drugs like aspirin and NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can also cause side effects such as gastric irritation or nausea. The enteric coating protects the gastric mucosa from the drug itself. Another reason for enterically coated tablets is to provide a delayed release of the medication.
Polymers used for enteric coating
The enteric coating is nothing more than applying a polymer film on a tablet. Obviously, the polymers used for this coating must be resistant to gastric fluids. Polymers for enteric coating remain unionized at low pH, but when they reach the small intestine, they become soluble and swell, and begin to dissolve at a pH of 5.0-5.5. In addition to this, they should be compatible with the drug substrate and the coating solution and should be non-toxic in nature.
Examples of enteric film-coating polymers are cellulose acetate phthalate (CAP), which is the oldest and the most used for enteric coating, Cellulose acetate trimellitate (CAT), Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose phthalate (HPMCP) and Shellac.
Applying a polymer film using tablet coating equipment
When preparing an enteric coating formulation, you need to pay attention to the mixing part. The mixture should be uniform and fine enough to pass through the coating system. The most common tablet coating equipment used for enteric coating is a pan coating system. This involves spraying the film-forming material onto the tablet surface as the tablets rotate in the pan.
Hot air is applied which helps the organic solvent evaporate and form the coat over the tablets. You need to repeat the process according to the desired thickness of the tablet’s film.
Enteric-coated tablets are pills that have a special coating designed to protect the active ingredients from stomach acid. While protecting, these tablets are still able to release the important API in the intestine. This feature is particularly important for drugs like naproxen and ibuprofen. Which have been known to cause irritation of the stomach lining. And thus, can cause ulcers. Enteric coated tablets are commonly used in the treatment of arthritis and inflammation and can be found at most local pharmacies.