relatively stable shell containing medicine

A pharmaceutical capsule is an easy way to take medication. Capsules may contain powder, liquid or oil.[1] The outer shell is made of hard or soft gelatin. Capsules come in different shapes and colors to identify dose or what company made them.[1] They are also available as timed release which work over a period of time. Capsules should usually be taken whole. Always consult a pharmacist or desk reference before opening a capsule. Capsules should also not be crushed without first checking to see if it is safe.[2]

Capsules used for medicine
Cod liver oil soft gel capsules


  1. 1.0 1.1 Deborah Gray Morris, Calculate with Confidence, Sixth Edition (London; Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2014), p. 291
  2. Vicki Niblett, A Nurse's Guide to Dosage Calculation: Giving Medications Safely (Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006), p. 129


Soft gelatin capsules, also known as softgels or soft elastic capsules, are hermetically sealed one-piece capsules containing a liquid or a semisolid fill without a bubble of air or gas. They are made from a more flexible, gelatin film plasticized by the addition of glycerine, sorbitol, .

As with hard gelatin capsules, soft gelatin capsules are predominantly administered orally. Some can be formulated and manufactured to produce a number of different drug delivery systems such as

a.    Chewable softgels where a highly-flavoured shell is chewed to release the drug liquid fill matrix

b.    Suckable softgels which consist of a gelatin shell containing the flavoured medicament to be sucked and a liquid matrix (or just air inside the capsule)

c.    Twist-off softgels which are designed with a tag to be twisted or snipped off, thereby allowing access to the fill material and

d.    Meltable softgels designed for use as pessaries or suppositories.


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