A tablet is a pharmaceutical dosage form. It comprises a mixture of active substances and excipients, usually in powder form, pressed or compacted from a powder into a solid dose. The excipients can include diluents, binders or granulating agents, glidants (flow aids) and lubricants to ensure efficient tabletting; disintegrants to promote tablet break-up in the digestive tract; sweeteners or flavours to enhance taste; and pigments to make the tablets visually attractive. A polymer coating is often applied to make the tablet smoother and easier to swallow, to control the release rate of the active ingredient, to make it more resistant to the environment (extending its shelf life), or to enhance the tablet's appearance.
The compressed tablet is the most popular dosage form in use today. About two-thirds of all prescriptions are dispensed as solid dosage forms, and half of these are compressed tablets. A tablet can be formulated to deliver an accurate dosage to a specific site; it is usually taken orally, but can be administered sublingually, buccally, rectally or intravaginally. The tablet is just one of the many forms that an oral drug can take such as syrups, elixirs, suspensions, and emulsions. Medicinal tablets were originally made in the shape of a disk of whatever color their components determined, but are now made in many shapes and colors to help distinguish different medicines. Tablets are often stamped with symbols, letters, and numbers, which enable them to be identified. Sizes of tablets to be swallowed range from a few millimeters to about a centimeter. Some tablets are in the shape of capsules, and are called "caplets". Other products are manufactured in the form of tablets which are designed to dissolve or disintegrate; e.g. cleaning and deodorizing products.
Time release technology (also known as sustained-release (SR), sustained-action (SA), extended-release (ER, XR, XL), timed-release (TR), controlled-release (CR), modified release (MR), or continuous-release (Contin)) is a mechanism used in pill tablets or capsules to dissolve a drug over time in order to be released slower and steadier into the bloodstream while having the advantage of being taken at less frequent intervals than immediate-release (IR) formulations of the same drug.
Today, most time-release drugs are formulated so that the active ingredient is embedded in a matrix of insoluble substance(s) (various: some acrylics, even chitin; these substances are often patented) such that the dissolving drug must find its way out through the holes in the matrix. Some drugs are enclosed in polymer-based tablets with a laser-drilled hole on one side and a porous membrane on the other side. Stomach acids push through the porous membrane, thereby pushing the drug out through the laser-drilled hole. In time, the entire drug dose releases into the system while the polymer container remains intact, to be excreted later through normal digestion.
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The pharmaceutical sciences are a group of interdisciplinary areas of study concerned with the design, action, delivery, disposition, inorganic, physical, biochemical and analytical biology (anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, cell biology, and molecular biology), epidemiology, statistics, chemometrics, mathematics, physics, and chemical engineering, and applies their principles to the study of drugs.
Dosage forms (also called unit doses) are essentially pharmaceutical products in the form in which they are marketed for use, typically involving a mixture of active drug components and nondrug components (excipients), along with other non-reusable material that may not be considered either ingredient or packaging (such as a capsule shell, for example). The term unit dose can also sometimes encompass non-reusable packaging as well (especially when each drug product is individually packaged), although the FDA distinguishes that by unit-dose "packaging" or "dispensing.". Depending on the context, multi(ple) unit dose can refer to distinct drug products packaged together, or to a single drug product containing multiple drugs and/or doses. The term dosage form can also sometimes refer only to the chemical formulation of a drug product's constituent drug substance(s) and any blends involved, without considering matters beyond that (like how it's ultimately configured as a consumable product such as a capsule, patch, etc.). Because of the somewhat vague boundaries and unclear overlap of these terms and certain variants and qualifiers thereof within the pharmaceutical industry, caution is often advisable when conversing outside of one's typical discourse community.
Depending on the method/route of administration, dosage forms come in several types. These include many kinds of liquid, solid, and semisolid dosage forms. Common dosage forms include pill, tablet, or capsule, drink or syrup, and natural or herbal form such as plant or food of sorts, among many others. Notably, the route of administration (ROA) for drug delivery is dependent on the dosage form of the substance in question. A liquid dosage form is the liquid form of a dose of a chemical compound used as a drug or medication intended for administration or consumption.
A combination drug most commonly refers to a fixed-dose combination (FDC), which is a formulation including two or more active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) combined in a single dosage form, which is manufactured and distributed in certain respective fixed doses. Terms like "combination drug" or "combination drug product" can be common shorthand for a FDC product (since most combination drug products are currently FDCs), although the latter is more precise if in fact referring to a mass-produced product having a predetermined combination of drugs and respective dosages (as opposed to customized polypharmacy via compounding). And it should also be distinguished from the term "combination product" in medical contexts, which without further specification can refer to products that combine different types of medical products - such as device/drug combinations as opposed to drug/drug combinations. Note that when a combination drug product (whether fixed-dose or not) is a "pill" (i.e., a tablet or capsule), then it is also a kind of "polypill" or combopill.
Initially, fixed-dose combination drug products were developed to target a single disease (such as with antiretroviral FDCs used against AIDS). However, FDCs may also target multiple diseases/conditions, such as Caduet (atorvastatin/amlodipine) or Exforge (amlodipine/valsartan). In cases of FDCs targeting multiple conditions, such conditions might often be related — in order to increase the number of prospective patients who might be likely to utilize a given FDC product. This is because each FDC product is mass-produced, and thus typically requires having a critical mass of potentially applicable patients in order to justify its manufacture, distribution, stocking, etc.
A tablet computer, or simply tablet, is a mobile computer with display, circuitry and battery in a single unit. Tablets are equipped with sensors, including cameras, microphone, accelerometer and touchscreen, with finger or stylus gestures replacing computer mouse and keyboard. Tablets may include physical buttons, e.g., to control basic features such as speaker volume and power and ports for network communications and to charge the battery. An on-screen, pop-up virtual keyboard is usually used for typing. Tablets are typically larger than smart phones or personal digital assistants at 7 inches (18 cm) or larger, measured diagonally.
Hybrids that include detachable keyboards have been sold since the mid-1990s. Convertible touchscreen notebook computers have an integrated keyboard that can be hidden by a swivel or slide joint. Booklet tablets have dual-touchscreens and can be used as a notebook by displaying a virtual keyboard on one of the displays.
Science of drugs including their origin, composition, pharmacokinetics,
pharmacodynamics, therapeutic use, and toxicology.
Pharmacology (from Greek φάρμακον, pharmakon, "poison" in classic Greek; "drug" in modern Greek; and -λογία, -logia "study of", "knowledge of") is the branch of medicine and biology concerned with the study of drug action, where a drug can be broadly defined as any man-made, natural, or endogenous (within the body) molecule which exerts a biochemical and/or physiological effect on the cell, tissue, organ, or organism. More specifically, it is the study of the interactions that occur between a living organism and chemicals that affect normal or abnormal biochemical function. If substances have medicinal properties, they are considered pharmaceuticals.