Naked Science Forum

Life Sciences => Physiology & Medicine => Topic started by: neilep on 01/12/2008 02:46:24

Title: What’s the difference between a gelatin pill and non gelatin pill ?
Post by: neilep on 01/12/2008 02:46:24
Dearest Pillologists,

Pills are my all time favourite small swallow-able thing prescribed by a doctor and available in chemists that contain remedies and medications.

Look here’s some

* asst-pills-2-ncr-1-007.jpg (34.07 kB . 249x234 - viewed 8033 times)

Pretty eh ? 

Those tubular ones are made from gelatin and contain the drug whereas the others are the drug that have been pressed into that specific shape *as a side note, I wonder if vegetarians are aware that those tubular ones are non veggy friendly ?*

So, why are there two different types of pill ?..what are the advantages of a gelatin covered one over a regular tablet ?

I would ask my neighbour but he is still not around…though. I suspect he may need some suppositories when he does come back.

Anyway, your pill orientated answers would be most welcome.

Thank ewe

I’m not a bitter pill to swallow !
Title: Re: What’s the difference between a gelatin pill and non gelatin pill ?
Post by: RD on 01/12/2008 05:29:01
Horrid tasting medicine is coated in tasteless gelatin which dissolves in the stomach releasing the medicine.
If the pill was mostly gelatin, rather than just gelatin coated, it could have a slow-release effect:
 slowly delivering the drug rather than releasing its contents all at once.

The "gelatin free" formulations increased after the BSE scandal.

* 294px-Materials_Used_in_Gelatin_Production_svg.png (19.29 kB . 294x218 - viewed 7682 times)

Theoretically any bit of cow could transmit the BSE (CJD) prion.

The tests were based on a worst case scenario where the raw material came from BSE-infected cattle. No BSE prions could be detected in the gelatin produced by several manufacturing methods. Injections of these gelatins into the brain of experimental animals gave no establishment of TSE diseases. As a result of these experiments the FDA confirmed the safety of bovine bone gelatin. Prior to FDA, the Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) of the European Union (EU) in 2003 confirmed that the risk associated with bovine bone gelatin is close to zero. In 2006 the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) stated that the SSC opinion was confirmed, that the BSE risk of bone-derived gelatin was very small, and that there was no support for the request of excluding the skull and vertebrae of bovine origin older than 12 months from the material used in gelatin manufacturing.

Kosher gelatin ( and veggie gelatin substitute  ( are available.
Title: Re: What’s the difference between a gelatin pill and non gelatin pill ?
Post by: neilep on 01/12/2008 12:25:32
Thank Ewe RD,

I take some tablets which are not covered in gelatin and they taste bloody awful (If I was to chew them), to get round it I just swallow them whole like I'm supposed to. taste !

Perhaps some people like to take their time swallowing tablets and thus do in fact taste them, so, I can see the reason why.

Nice to know about the gelatin variants..thanks
Title: Re: What’s the difference between a gelatin pill and non gelatin pill ?
Post by: Karen W. on 02/12/2008 20:13:31
I have a lot of pills to take daily... 18 currently.. I have several that are uncoated with the gelatin and boy if I don't hold them in my teeth.... they are oh so very bitter! I am gratefull thatso many have the coating.. as most of my pills are bitter and you must learn to not get them under your tongue before you swollow with wate or oh my.. they be nasty suckers to swalow!
Also the oblong ones get stuck in my thoat and won't go down even wih tons of water.... the gelatin caaps help... my lovoxyl gets stuck every time.... even taking a piece of bread is difficult to help it on down as if the throat has shrunk...Lol.. so the Gel really helps most pills slide down easier..