Optimise your DC formulation: Direct compression challenges

Most medicines, from over the counter treatments to prescription drugs, are taken by mouth in the form of tablets and capsules. Oral medicines are convenient, flexible and cost-effective. Direct compression is the simplest form of oral dosage production as it eliminates process stages, leading to a shorter process cycle and faster production times.

Direct compression requires the use of particle engineered excipients with the right characteristics for your specific formulation. Direct compression grades are all developed to provide good compaction and good flow. The table below provides an overview on the differentiators between the different direct compression material types available, focusing on the strengths of each product group.

 □ baseline
+ good
++ very good
+++ superior
 Compaction Re-compaction Flowability Disintegration

Content uniformity

Spray dried lactose
SuperTab® SD
Lactopress® SD
 □(+)2  □  +++  +  +
Anhydrous lactose
SuperTab® AN
 +  +++  +(++)1  □  +
Granulated lactose
SuperTab® 30GR
 □  □  ++  +  ++
Granulated anhydrous lactose
SuperTab® 24AN
 ++  +  ++  □  ++
Co-processed
SuperTab® 40LL
Pharmacel® sMCC90
 +++  □  +++  □  ++
MCC
Pharmacel®
 +++  □  □  ++  □
Superdisintegrant
Primojel®
Primellose®
 □  □  □  +++  □

1 SuperTab® 22AN with +++ flow available
2 SuperTab® 14SD with + compactability available

To select the right excipient per category, a thorough understanding of the different grades is required. Main differentiators and typical physical chemical properties of the different grades are summarized below. Please keep in mind that the optimal formulation and choice of excipients will always depend on the specific situation, and therefore we always recommend discussion with our technical experts. Feel to reach out to us for expert advice!

Overview typical values physical chemical properties

Product*

Loss on
Drying
(%w/w)

Bulk
density
(g/mL)

Tapped
density
(g/mL)

x10
(µm)

x50
(µm)

x90
(µm)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Superdisintegrants

 

 

 

 

 

 

• Primojel®

4.8

0.79

0.96

20

40

70

• Primellose®

5.3

0.55

0.74

20

50

110

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MCC

 

 

 

 

 

 

• Pharmacel® 102

3.8

0.31

0.44

40

90

180

• Pharmacel® 112

1.3

0.33

0.46

40

90

180

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spray dried lactose

 

 

 

 

 

 

• Lactopress® Spray Dried 250

0.2

0.64

0.74

45

110

200

• SuperTab® 11SD EU

0.3

0.6

0.72

50

120

220

• SuperTab® 11SD NZ

0.2

0.62

0.69

50

140

240

• SuperTab® 14SD

0.3

0.62

0.72

50

130

240

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orodispersible lactose

 

 

 

 

 

 

• SuperTab® 50ODT

0.2

0.64

0.73

55

130

220

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anhydrous lactose

 

 

 

 

 

 

• SuperTab® 21AN

0.1

0.72

0.91

15

170

340

• SuperTab® 22AN

0.1

0.68

0.8

70

220

380

• SuperTab® 24AN

0.1

0.49

0.6

40

140

300

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Granulated lactose

 

 

 

 

 

 

• SuperTab® 30GR

0.1

0.55

0.67

40

140

300

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Co-processed

 

 

 

 

 

 

• SuperTab® 40LL

0.2

0.54

0.66

80

180

350

• Pharmacel® sMCC90

3.8

0.31

0.47

35

110

270