To form a Tablet the drug is combined with fillers and is then compressed into a hard pellet. There are various shapes, sizes and colors of tablets. Tablets are available in fast acting, slow release, controlled release, enteric coated, film coated, sublingual, chewable and other formulations. Not all oral Dosage Forms / tablets are swallowed. Sublingual (SL) tablets are placed under the tongue, wafers are placed on the tongue and BUCCAL tablets are placed between the cheek and the gum.
To form a Capsule the drug is contained in a cylindrically shaped shell, which breaks open and the drug is released. This includes gelatin capsules.
A Caplet is an oval-shaped tablet.
The drug is dissolved completely into a liquid form.
The drug is mixed with, but not completely dissolved into a liquid. It needs to be shaken before administration in order to suspend the drug particles evenly.
Contain a high concentration of sucrose or sugar to sweeten, for ease of use.
Elixirs contain between 5% and 40% alcohol.
May contain as little as 17% alcohol or as much as 80% alcohol.
An Emulsion is a suspension involving one liquid in a second liquid with which the first will not mix. (oil in water or water in oil)
Drugs which are in a powder form and are usually dissolved in juice or water before administration
Lozenge and Troche
Lozenges and Troches are meant to be dissolved slowly in the mouth and generally have a local effect.
Solid or semi-solid bullet shaped dosage forms. They melt at body temperature, dispersing the medication.
A medicated adhesive patch applied directly on the skin to deliver a specific dosage of a drug. They have systemic effects and should be rotated to different sites on the body.
Inhaled through the mouth or nose and usually act directly on the respiratory system before entering into the bloodstream. They are often used to treat respiratory diseases, but gases are inhaled for general anesthesia as well.
These are not all of the Dosage Forms used in modern medical practice, but a brief list of the most common seen by pharmacy technicians. The routes of administration here are the more common forms and should be memorized to prepare for the pharmacy tech test.