Difference Between Capsules and Tablets

Capsule and tablet are just two forms of medicines we ingest. Whenever we are sick, the medicines the doctor will prescribe are usually either a capsule or a tablet. One might wonder what is the difference between a capsule and a tablet and if their form affects how effective they will be.


A tablet is medicine compressed into a disc form. It is usually coated with sugar or some other compound to delay the release of the medicine into our system. They cost less to manufacture and is well accepted by most of the population. In fact, popularity-wise, they hold the edge since they are more accessible compared to other shapes of medicines that come in.


A capsule is basically medicine in either gel or powder form enclosed in a thin almost cylindrical container. This allows the medicine to enter our system quicker than most forms. In fact, those medicines that boast having a quick effect are in capsule form. The gel-like container for capsules is also susceptible to moisture, which is why they have a shorter shelf-life.

Difference between Capsules and Tablets

Capsules have the advantage of being easy to swallow and having a faster delivery time compared to tablets, however, tablets can be easily divided for dose splitting because of their notches. Tablets are also cheaper compared to capsules, but capsules have the ability of being able to hold more mixes of sensitive drugs because their containers are great oxygen barriers. Some of the things that make capsules disadvantageous are the fact that they will be bigger if the contents are bulkier. Also, they have a shorter shelf life. Tablets, on the other hand, have poor dissolution and customers have more concerns about them compared to capsules.

Capsules and tablets are not new to us; however, to choose wisely, we must know their differences. They can spell a world of difference to some of us.

In brief:

• Capsules are medicines that are contained in a cylindrical-shaped container. They are more expensive compared to tablets but they do get the medicine into your system quicker. They do have a shorter shelf life, however.

• Tablets are medicines compressed into a disc that is coated by sugar or some other thing. They are cheaper and you can split the dose easier but they don’t release the medicine into your system as fast as capsules do.