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How Many Types of Capsules Are There?

Capsules are an easy, tasteless, and convenient way to take medications, vitamins, and supplements. Just pop one, gulp it down with a glass of water, and voila! You’re set for the day. Their efficiency and convenience have made them an inseparable part of the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries. Capsules come in various shapes, sizes, and forms, and today we will explore them in detail and explore their different uses, features, and compositions. So sit back, relax, and read on to explore the amazing world of capsules.

What are the Different Types of Capsules in the Market?

Capsules often come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. The shaping and sizing play a crucial role in dosing the medication effectively; the colors play a role in distinguishing different strengths and time boundation of medication, though sometimes colors also establish the brand’s identity. Now, let us understand about the different types of capsules.

Gelatin Capsules

Gelatin capsules are the most traditional and widely used form of capsule, having been used in the pharma and supplement industries for ages. These are made by using extracted collagen found in the skins of various marine animals and mammals, like cows and pigs. The active ingredient, i.e., your vitamins, minerals, or medication, is encapsulated between two shells of gelatin-made capsules.

The major reason for their wide acceptability in the medication world is the fact that these capsules dissolve quickly in the stomach, and the medication starts working immediately. But with the rise of vegan culture, there’s dissent over animal cruelty during collagen extraction. Still, these gelatin capsules are quite famous due to their being cost-effective and being compatible with a wide spectrum of medications.

Vegetarian or Vegan Capsules

Demand for vegetarian capsules is on the rise; vegan, vegetarian, and climate-conscious people prefer vegetarian capsules over gelatin capsules. They are usually made of plant-based cellulose and are as effective as gelatine capsules in delivering the medication. The nutraceuticals industry has vastly switched to these vegetarian and animal cruelty-free capsules due to the rising demand for nature-friendly, sustainable products.

TrustWorks is a US-based contract manufacturer in the dietary supplements space that has developed its own OptiVeg Softgel capsules, which are made using modified tapioca starch. These capsules have better thermal stability as compared to regular vegetarian capsules and work effectively in hot climates where regular vegetarian capsules might melt and become sticky. TrustWorks is a contract manufacturer for various big brands like Kroger and Walgreens and makes these sugar- and gluten-free capsules with unique halal and kosher certifications suitable for them on a large scale.

Enteric Capsules

Enteric-coated capsules are used to deliver specific medications. These capsules survive the acids released by stomach linen and directly release the medication in the small intestine, where the environment is alkaline. These capsules are used to deliver specific medications that might have a bad reaction if released when the capsule is in the stomach, saving the user from unexpected acidic reactions and stomach pain. Using enteric-coated capsules for such medication improves the efficiency and results of the drug and reduces the chances of side effects.

Time-release capsules

Time-release capsules are famously used for acidity-related medicine; these are known as sustained-release capsules. These capsules release the various active medicines slowly over time, and the ingredients get mixed in the blood steadily over time, providing the user with a prolonged relieving effect. This tackles the issue of frequent dosing for people with a hectic lifestyle who cannot take medicines during frequent breaks.

Flavored and Specialized Capsules

These flavored and specialized capsules are usually made for kids and older people. Some medications have a very unpleasant taste, which makes them difficult to administer to a child or elderly person. These flavored capsules provide a good taste when consumed and mask the foul taste and smell of the medication that’s encapsulated between their shells.

Multi-Compartment Capsules

Multi-compartment capsules have two or three different medications in separate compartments. They are also known as multiple-unit pellet systems.

This is specifically designed to carry different medicine pills in distinct compartments. These can release different combinations of drugs or time-released formulations with just a single dose.

Liquid-Based Capsules

These are used to administer a liquid formulation, providing an alternative to traditional hard pills. This is effective in delivering drug formulations that might be hard to form in solid dosage form and are often used for oil-based supplements like fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids.


Capsules play an important role in our daily lives. Most of us take our daily dose of vitamins and minerals in capsule form, which saves us from the foul taste and smell of certain formulations. With technological advancements, brands like TrustWorks are leading the way in dietary supplement contract manufacturing. Their quick turnaround time and 50 million+ capsules per month manufacturing capability have established them as leading capsule contract manufacturers for big brands. Techniques for making the capsules are becoming better and more effective over time, and they’ll keep playing a crucial role in the pharmaceutical and dietary health supplement space.

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