What happens when a pill encounters water?
What happens when a pill encounters water?
Let's enjoy the moving picture.

feeling sick? Take a pill. Pills are a common part of daily life, but when we swallow them with water, we seldom think about what happens next. What happens to a pill when it comes into contact with water? Time-lapse photography by Youtube video blogger TimeLapseBlog can tell us the answer:

here, we can see the neat and beautiful pills swell and disperse in the water, turning into a pile of disorderly and loose particles. Such a scene may be strange or not pleasing to the eye, but it is a common state of a pill when it comes into contact with water, a process known as "disintegration". This form of disintegration can greatly increase the surface area of the tablets, therefore, it can also promote the full release and absorption of the active ingredients.

in order for the tablets to be fully dispersed in water, excipients known as "disintegrants" are essential. After moisturizing the tablet, it will seep into the tablet through capillarity, and the disintegrating agent can absorb water and expand, promoting the tablet to disperse into small particles.

of course, not all pills have the same ending in water. Sometimes, special tablet structures and ingredients are designed to control the release of the drug. Sometimes, the tablet does not disperse completely, but maintains an intact shell and releases the drug only through a small hole. This is what osmotic pump tablets look like:

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in addition, the carbon dioxide bubbles produced by effervescent tablets are also good helpers to help disperse drugs. In the image below, a piece of effervescent tablets that meets water in weightlessness also shows the interesting side of the drug.

PS: in a pill, in addition to the main ingredients, all kinds of excipients are needed to make it produce, preserve and use smoothly. What are these ingredients? read the original text to learn more.