Fast disintegrating tablets: Opportunity in drug delivery system

J Adv Pharm Technol Res. 2011 Oct;2(4):223-35. doi: 10.4103/2231-4040.90877.


Fast disintegrating tablets (FDTs) have received ever-increasing demand during the last decade, and the field has become a rapidly growing area in the pharmaceutical industry. Oral drug delivery remains the preferred route for administration of various drugs. Recent developments in the technology have prompted scientists to develop FDTs with improved patient compliance and convenience. Upon introduction into the mouth, these tablets dissolve or disintegrate in the mouth in the absence of additional water for easy administration of active pharmaceutical ingredients. The popularity and usefulness of the formulation resulted in development of several FDT technologies. FDTs are solid unit dosage forms, which disintegrate or dissolve rapidly in the mouth without chewing and water. FDTs or orally disintegrating tablets provide an advantage particularly for pediatric and geriatric populations who have difficulty in swallowing conventional tablets and capsules. This review describes various formulations and technologies developed to achieve fast dissolution/dispersion of tablets in the oral cavity. In particular, this review describes in detail FDT technologies based on lyophilization, molding, sublimation, and compaction, as well as approaches to enhancing the FDT properties, such as spray drying and use of disintegrants. In addition, taste-masking technologies, experimental measurements of disintegration times, and dissolution are also discussed.

Keywords: Fast dissolving tablets; freeze drying; spray drying; taste masking.