The nonproprietary name for HPMC – hydroxypropyl methylcellulose – is such a mouthful that it has two abbreviations. Hypromellose is the other one. The non-ionized material offers a safe alternative to gelatin capsules, especially as most common API and excipients are suitable HPMC capsule ingredients.
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HPMC manufacturing equipment must operate at higher temperatures
HPMC is one of many types of pharmaceutical capsules. As a result, it will require slightly different production processing. HPMC capsules is produced using a dipping-pin method, similar to the technique used to produce gelatin capsules. But the Hypromellose solution needs to be kept at higher temperatures (around 70°C), and shells take longer to form on the manufacturing pins.
Moreover, the structure of HPMC capsules is significantly more fragile than that of gelatin. Processing with drying and filling equipment must therefore operate at a gentler pace.
Hygroscopic materials are compatible HPMC capsule ingredients
One limitation of traditional animal-based gelatin is that absorbent and adsorbent materials gradually weaken the shell walls.
On the other hand, HPMC capsules offer superior stability at a broader range of heat and moisture variances. This makes them better suited for hygroscopic formulations such as zinc chloride or sodium hydroxide.
HPMC opens opportunities for the production of vegan enteric-coated tablets
The generic capsule owes its success as a pharmacological product to the efficacious delivery of drugs. HPMC capsules are not only as easy to swallow as hard-gel alternatives, but they carry an identical dissolution rate in-vivo.
In addition, the matt properties of Hypromellose make it a viable option for delayed and extended-release medical formulations. HPMC, thus, shows promise for the manufacturing of plant-based enteric-coated tablets.