New Meds Melt in Your Mouth
New Meds Melt in Your Mouth
August 6, 2003
By Dwayne Hunter
Betterhumans Staff
Billed as "melt-in-your-mouth" tablets, a new drug-delivery technology is being promoted as an easier, better, cost-effective way for people to take drugs in pill form.
Frosta has been developed by Akina, a startup from Purdue Research Park in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Frosta is a tablet formulation that can melt in a person's mouth in as little as 10 seconds. The name refers to this fast-melting nature, which its developers compare to the melting of frost.
"This kind of fast-melting tablet is good for those patients who have trouble taking pills without gagging, especially the elderly and children," says Kinam Park, Akina's chief executive officer and a Purdue University professor of pharmaceutics and biomedical engineering.
"Our technology also enables patients to take pills without water, and that's important for people who are on the go," he says.
Improved process
Frosta melts much faster than existing commercial products made by tablet press machines.
Products currently on the market -- known variously as fast-melting tablets, fast-disintegrating tablets and fast-dispensing tablets -- are made by either freeze-drying a liquid dosage into a solid dosage or by using conventional tablet press machines.
The freeze-drying method produces tablets that are fast-melting, but they crumble easily. Conversely, press machines produce tablets that are relatively strong, but they often fail to melt quickly.
"Our technology enables pharmaceutical companies to manufacture fast-melting tablets on conventional tablet press machines, and that gives drug makers a low production cost advantage," says Park.
Sugar pills
Frosta tablets rely on the unique properties of certain saccharides -- essentially sugars -- that are mixed and made into a granular form.
Wet granules are dried in the air and in an oven, then compressed to form a tablet.
The tablets don't break easily -- they remain intact even when dropped from six feet onto a hard surface.
Unlike current products on the market, they are also strong and stable enough to be packaged in bottles with multiple tablets.
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