Enteric coating, and other coatings like it, have existed for many years. The technology that performs this process has changed over the years, but its value has not. There is more to medications than just giving someone a pill or drug. The active ingredients need to be delivered at the appropriate time during digestion. The enteric coating makes this possible.
Enteric coating is a polymer applied to oral medication. It serves as a barrier to prevent the gastric acids in the stomach from dissolving or degrading drugs after you swallow them. Without full enteric protection, many drugs would fall apart rapidly in stomach acids. Their intended effect would be reduced or eliminated altogether. Different medications work in different ways, but several types of drugs need to reach the intestinal tract intact before they deliver their ingredients.
The coating creates a delayed release for various dosage forms. Thanks to this process, pharmaceutical companies can ensure drugs make it through the stomach to the small intestine or other stages in digestion it needs to reach. Through the combination of enteric protection and rapid release ingredients, medical professionals can now accurately target when a medication springs into action.
This coating does more than protect drugs, though. It also defends the stomach, and it’s lining from the harm that certain medications can cause. The class of pain relievers known as NSAIDs is among the most commonly taken on the market today.
Anyone who takes NSAIDs regularly for pain relief or conditions like arthritis runs the risk of developing stomach ulcers from the irritation the drugs can create. The American College of Gastroenterology has stated that as many as 25% of the people who take NSAIDs regularly will develop ulcers, bleeding in the stomach, or injuries in the upper gastrointestinal GI tract. These injuries contribute to more than 100,000 hospital visits every year.
The pharmaceutical industry addressed this risk by developing new drug delivery technology and coating the pills. The coated pain medications work to prevent or reduce the irritation that causes these internal injuries. The enteric-coated capsules or tablets keep the drug’s ingredients from activating until they are safely beyond the stomach.
Some companies are even applying enteric coatings to supplements like fish oil tablets or omega-3 fatty acid capsules. In this application, the coating still prevents the capsule from being digested in the stomach. However, this time, the coating is used to prevent the fishy reflux or burping that often follows taking fish oil pills.
A lot has changed in the pharmaceutical industry since the first forms of gastric-resistant coating was first used back in the 1800s. Thomas Processing has been around for just over 60 years, and we’ve seen the industry change substantially in just our lifetime, but the ideas behind the tablet coating process remain the same. The good news is that machinery like the tablet coaters from Thomas Processing makes this age-old process easier than ever before.
Our pharmaceutical machinery delivers a coating that is consistent across all the tablets in your batch with repeatable results from batch to batch. We provide product quality that you can count on with every tablet. Going beyond the quality of your tablet coating, we’ve also made the execution of the process simpler for your employees.
Many of our coaters come with exchangeable drums to offer greater versatility. The drums can be switched out to reduce the chance of cross contamination and removed for easier cleaning. Your employees can also dedicate specific drums to certain product lines or particular clients. All of our tablet coaters come equipped with our Compu-Coat control software. This program offers features like multiple languages, recipe-driven coating, memory for 100+ recipes, batch reports, and an easy-to-use graphic interface.
We even send our employees out to train your staff on the coaters and to optimize the processes of your facility. When it comes to tablet coating, Thomas Processing offers everything you need and more.
To learn more about the enteric coating process, contact Thomas Processing today.