Many medicines are only available in adult strength; therefore the administration of accurate dosage for children is critical. The adjustment of adult formulations to paediatric dosage is often done by cutting or crushing tablets, opening the capsules and using the powder to make a liquid, diluting concentrated preparations or, using injections orally, etc.As a direct consequence, children are often given formulations that have not been developed for them. This practice can compromise the efficacy and safety of the treatment.Paediatric medicines must allow accurate administration of the dose to children of varying age and weight.
Small-volume liquid medicines are appropriate for use in the younger age groups.But some drugs (ex.antibiotics) are unstable in liquid media,so they are available in solid forms.Children less than 5 years of age usually have problems with swallowing tablets and capsules (i.e. dysphagia).Dysphagia may be overcome by developing solid dosage forms (dispersible tablets) to be dissolved, dispersed or mixed with food, milk or water prior to administration.Dispersible tablets are a convenient formulation for infants, toddlers and pre-school children.
Dispersible tablets are uncoated or film-coated tablets that can be dispersed in liquid before administration giving a homogenous dispersion.Dispersible tablets usually disintegrate within three minutes when put in water or a small amount of breast milk.
Advantages of dispersible tablets over conventional dosage forms
- Qucker onset action compared with conventional tablets because of improved bioavailability.
- Suitable for children and elderly persons with swallowing difficulties (Dysphagia)
- More convenient for API's with insufficient stability in water.
- More easy for transportation (less volume,less weight)
- Dispersble tablets remain solid until administration. This aids the stability of the pharmaceutically active agent, the dose accuracy, and storage of the tablets.
Dispersible tablets have less physical resistance than regular tablets; they are more sensitive to moisture and may degrade at higher humidity conditions. Each tablet must be protected from the ambient humidity.The dispersible tablets should not be divided or chewed.Dispersible tablets must be used immediately after removal from the blister packaging. Their stability outside of the blister cannot be guaranteed.