Background Pharmacy compounding is a valuable tool for personalised medicine (e.g. dose and excipients). This is an important tool in drug delivery to children where suitable doses/dosage forms are not available from the pharmaceutical industry. In many cases, liquid-based dosage forms are available allowing for a mL-based, individualised therapy. However, there are cases where capsules are the preferred form. Solid dosage forms allows a child to easily self-administer the medication e.g. during times away from hospital and home such as during school. For many years there have been methods for reformulating tablets by crushing or the use of active pharmaceutical ingredients to fill batches of capsules (e.g. batches of six or 50 or 100 capsules).
Purpose The purpose of this study was to evaluate powder dispensing equipment as a means of filling single capsules.
Material and methods Capsules were filled as part of a master thesis project at the Department of Pharmacy, Uppsala University, Sweden. To dispense powder the microbalance MT5 (Mettler Toledo), ‘Quantos handheld powder dosing system’, model HPD (Mettler Toledo, orifice size 2.5/4 mm) was used. Model substances: Allopurinol Teva 100 mg tablet (Teva, Sweden) and Cellets microcrystalline cellulose pellets (Harke Pharma GmbH). Capsule ‘Coni-snap’ of various sizes (Capsugel) were screened.
Results HPD Quantos can be part of a method for preparing individual solid dosage forms, the equivalent of one-fifth of a tablet. Capsules were made with the mean filling weight of 19.0 mg (target dose 20 mg) and a relative standard deviation of 12% for allopurinol.
Conclusion We present a method for producing capsules that allows for individualised dosing. An advantage is that single capsules can be produced with the possibility of daily dosage regimen change, tapering schemes etc.
The handheld version of Quantos is not accurate enough for small capsule sizes. There are automated systems with integrated scales on the market that can be used also for potential toxic substances that enable the filling of smaller doses. With that in place the method would be well-functioning in a hospital pharmacy setting.
References and/or Acknowledgements Mettler Toledo are acknowledged for providing the Quantos handheld dispenser free of charge
No conflict of interest