Design of films for oral dosage formulations

  • K.J. Laru

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


A novel method for tablet coating was studied where a thin polymer film was cast (pre-formed film), dried and applied as a coating hence eliminating the need for using any solvent during the actual coating process. A pre-formed film is initially heating to a temperature where it becomes flexible, a vacuum is applied and the film is then pulled around the tablet. The proposed films (gelatine or cellulose-based) were characterised in terms of their dissolution, swelling, mechanical and thermal properties prior to using them in the novel coating process; selected films were then coated onto tablets containing paracetamol or ibuprofen and the effect of the film on the subsequent dissolution was evaluated. It was found that the pre-formed films could be designed to be fast dissolving and mechanically strong to withstand the stress from the coating process. Also metoclopramide was incorporated in a gelatine film-coating formulation which was then successfully coated on paracetamol-containing core. Gelatin-based films were found to be successful in the novel coating process therefore to be suitable as finished coatings for immediate release dosage forms. Orally disintegrating dosage forms have been identified as a favourable dosage form due to the following reasons: fast onset of drug release, easy to use, not painful and possible increase of amount absorbed to systemic circulation. Selected films formulated for coating studies were also successfully formulated to contain active ingredient suitable for orally disintegrating dosage form; cellulose-based naratriptan-films were studied as orally disintegrating dosage forms of where the effect of formulation on the film properties was studied. It was found that strength of the film can affect the dissolution of the film but it may be the inclusion of specific excipients in the formulation which affect the penetration of the drug through mucosa.
Date of AwardMar 2009
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorBarbara R Conway (Supervisor)


  • film-coating
  • oral films
  • tablet coating
  • dissolution
  • paracetamol
  • ibuprofen

Cite this