Caps/tabs/gel caps-which dissolves quicker?science project

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    Which dissolves quicker in stomach? Capsules-tablets-gel caps? It's that time of year again, science fair projects! Wondering if it makes a difference, or if it is just advertising hype to make people think they will get quicker relief if it dissolves faster. We are just testing one type of OTC pain reliever in caps, tablets, and gel caps. Any thoughts? I have been asked this by patients before and I didn't know for sure. Last year my daughter won second place--we are hoping for first place this year! Thanks.
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    Sounds interesting!

    You could also look at tablets vs. caplets, coated vs. noncoated.

    Be sure to follow up with her results here, I'd love to know what she finds.
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    Good idea about the coated/uncoated angle, we didn't even think about that one. Project is due in March, we will update on our findings when we are done. Thanks.
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    completely unscientific but-
    I used to suffer from headaches (not quite migraines) all the time. I found that Ggel-cap Advil made my pain go away faster. This could just be the placebo effect, and b/c they tell you gelcaps dissolve quicker, but it seems to make sense to me, especially if your stomach acid can easily and quickly dissolve the capsule and release the liquid meds. Anyway, that's my 2 cents, can't wait to hear results!!
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    Also unscientific: We have read online so far about an experiment done similar to ours by a teen who reported that, for her, the gel tabs took the longest to dissolve (almost 30 minutes). She stated that she used Sierra Mist to simulate stomach acid (she says that it has a pH of about 2.5). Just this week I needed to buy some Advil and I bought it in the gel cap form because I like to take it that way (they are prettier!). Even if our results show that the gel caps are the slowest I wonder if that would be enough to change my buying habits.:icon_roll We think we will use Tylenol as our OTC medicine. They have that new "rapid-release" capsule that has been "laser drilled" with holes to allow the medicine to be released into the stomach sooner. ( I wonder if the holes really do make a difference).
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    I know it's not a pain reliever, but if you are looking for data/ prior studies, Benadryl may give you some info. I know I've read an article about this (I just can't recall where).

    I also know from personal experience that the caplets don't work very quickly on allergic reactions. My allergist has also talked about this.
    dcampbell likes this.
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    Caplets are just coated tablets in a more easy-to-swallow form. If they take as long as a tablet, I wouldn't be surprised.

    The new gel-filled capsule things (the ones like vitamin E capsules -they're sort of squishy - not the gel-coated caplets) should dissolve the fastest.

    Capsules should dissolve more quickly than tablets.

    I would be interested in the "enteric-coated" tabs AND caplets; I know the coating is to reduce stomach irritation, but does the coating also slow absorption when compared to the non-coated ones? It seems as though it would.

    Another tactic - try testing a Tylenol or a Motrin as opposed to acetaminophen or ibuprofen, the generic cousins. You could even go farther - Target vs. Wal-Mart!

    The beauty of experimentation is that it can always dump your hypothesis! Let us know what you find out! If we lived nearby I'd volunteer to help, because this is very interesting to me!
    Last edit by carolinapooh on Feb 2, '08
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