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The hard gelatin capsule has been conventionally used as a dosage form for Rx and OTC drugs and herbal products, which are formulated either as powder or pellets. Various categories of drugs, however, demand new and different ways of formulation and the market demands that these products are developed and launched in an ever decreasing time period.
Liquid filled hard gelatin capsule is well established as a solid dosage form for convenient administration of drugs orally in a liquid form. Liquid filled capsule technology can be used for liquid and semisolid fills in two-piece gelatin or HPMC capsule with or without banding. This range of liquid composition available to accommodate even the most challenging drug compounds in capsules has increased significantly in recent years. In particular, it is possible to solubilize many drug compounds in a microemulsion pre-concentrate inside the hard gelatin capsules such that on subsequent dispersion in the gastrointestinal tract, the drug remains in solution. It is considered that this technology can make a significant contribution to the development of efficacious pharmaceutical products by providing the flexibility to rapidly develop and test in-house formulation when only small quantities of drug substance are available. This unique, flexible and elegant dosage form has a proven track record for addressing complex formulation challenges and improving or re-positioning existing formulations. LFHC provides secure protection to drug compounds in terms of leak-proof, airtight encapsulation that is impermeable to moisture, oxygen, and light.
Liquid filling hard gelatin capsules have gained exposure for their ability to increase solubility and bioavailability of poorly aqueous soluble drugs. In drug discovery, about 40% of new drug candidates display low solubility in water, which leads to poor bioavailability. Increasing the aqueous solubility of insoluble and slightly soluble drugs is major importance because most of the newly developed drugs are highly lipophilic in nature and its analysis is mainly carried out using organic solvents like methanol, chloroform, ethanol, benzene, acetone, toluene, carbon tetrachloride, diethyl ether, and acetonitrile. Most of these organic solvents are toxic, volatile, and costlier.8
Drug categories suitable for filling into capsules:
1. Drugs with Poor bioavailability
Reports say that the bioavailability of the poorly water-soluble drugs can be significantly enhanced when formulated as a liquid in a soft gelatin capsule.9-12
2. Drugs with a Low melting point:
Materials which have low melting points or are liquid at room temperature present difficulties when formulating as dry powders, often requiring high concentrations of excipient to avoid processing problems.13-16
3. Potent drugs:
Drugs in this category present two main challenges; how to achieve acceptable content uniformity and how to control cross-contamination and worker protection.17-19
4. Sustained release drug candidates:
By choosing an appropriate excipient the release rate of an active ingredient can be modified. E.g. Soybean oil and glyceryl monostearate.20-24

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