An automatic dose dispenser for microtablets--a new concept for individual dosage of drugs in tablet form

Int J Pharm. 2003 Aug 11;261(1-2):137-46. doi: 10.1016/s0378-5173(03)00294-1.


A new concept for individualising the dosage of drugs in solid form is presented. The principle is based on the use of standardised units (microtablets), each containing a subtherapeutic amount of the active ingredient. The required dose is fine-tuned by counting out a specific number of these units. The microtablets are counted electronically from the attached cassette by the automatic dispensing device. The individual dose is set and the dispenser counts and delivers the correct number of microtablets. The usefulness of the automatic dispenser concept and acceptability of the apparatus were evaluated in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). After initial instruction on use of the dispenser, 20 patients operated it themselves. All patients were generally satisfied with their management of the automatic dispenser and most would be happy to use the device again. Further technical development is required before use in clinical practice, but the current prototype may be acceptable for some patients. It is concluded that the final version of the automatic dose dispenser concept will offer potential for improvement of drug administration for patients with PD or other diseases requiring individual dosage.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antiparkinson Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antiparkinson Agents / chemistry
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Levodopa / administration & dosage
  • Levodopa / chemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease
  • Tablets / chemistry*
  • Technology, Pharmaceutical / instrumentation*


  • Antiparkinson Agents
  • Tablets
  • Levodopa