Gelatin capsules are used in many types of medications and over-the-counter supplements from vitamins to antibiotics. There are two types of gelatin capsules, hard and soft. Hard capsules are firm hold powdered form of supplements and medications, and are generally made in two parts. Soft gels often hold liquid medicines or fish oil supplements inside and is smooth to the touch, like a small bag with liquid. While there are many benefits to gelatin capsules, they have certain characteristics that limit their effective use in some cases.
Certain considerations prevent the use of gelatin capsules of certain parts of the population. The gelatin base capsules are often made of pork or beef products. Dietary restrictions or religious concerns prevent some customers from consuming this type of capsule. Pork and pig products are forbidden to those of the Jewish and Islamic faiths. Bovine diseases are also a concern for some. In addition vegetarians not want to consume this type of gelatin.
Costs and equipment
Gelatin capsules require special equipment to produce. The equipment to produce them are highly specialized and will add an additional phase of production. The manufacturer of the drug may be necessary to outsource the job. This increases costs and production time.
Gelatin degrades relatively easily in a variety of fabrics. Being water-soluble, the capsules be affected or damaged by moisture and liquids. There are also a limited number of carrier oils and fluids suspend medication in soft gels, and some drugs may degrade the hard gelatin capsules. Hard capsules can also become brittle and crack. Soft gel capsules can break down with heat and age. All would lead to loss of product and efficiency.