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From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Capsules used for medicine
Cod liver oil soft gel capsules

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. Capsules should also not be crushed without first checking to see if it is safe.[2]

Soft gelatin capsules

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Soft gelatin capsules are airtight-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, sorbital, etc.

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

  • Chewable softgels where a highly-flavoured shell is chewed to release the drug liquid.
  • Suckable softgels which consist of a gelatin shell containing the flavoured medicament to be sucked
  • Twist-off softgels which are designed with a tag to be twisted or snipped off, thereby allowing access to the drug.


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  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
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