Imtiaz Ibne Alam
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Why Size Reduction is an Important Step in Pharmaceutical Formulations?

Size reduction can be illustrated as the process in which the particle size of a substance or chemical is reduced. This process converts the substance or chemical to smaller pieces, powders, coarse particles, or an advanced type of subdivision. The synonymous terms “comminution” and “grinding” are used for the process of size reduction. In addition, most often, the raw or active materials to be used in formulations do not exist in desired size. For that reason, most of the materials are reduced to an optimum size at different stages during processing of a preparation.

Processes of Size Reduction

During preparation of a pharmaceutical product, many processes are used for size reduction (e.g. grinding, cutting, crushing, micronizing, chopping, milling, and many more). However, the use of these processes mainly depends on the type of machine or equipment installed in the processing area. On the other hand, the preference of equipment or machine depends on several factors, such as the initial particle size of the material, properties of the material, and grade of size reduction needed.
Picture of granules in fluid bed dryer

Why Size Reduction is needed in Tablet Processing?

The surface area of drugs is increased by size reduction, and that eventually assists in fast solution formation for chemicals. The surface area extension also facilitates the extraction process from animal glands. For the reason that with increase in surface area, solvent can effortlessly go through into the tissues, and this result in rapid extraction.

The particle size reduction increases the rate of drying and the bulkiness of certain drugs. The reduction of particle size also enhances the therapeutic effectiveness of certain drugs (for example, with the help of size reduction, the usual dose of griseofulvin can be reduced to half).

The reduced uniform particle size of ingredients makes mixing of solid ingredients easier and more appropriate. For example, in case of developing the formulation of powdered dosage forms, the crystalline ingredients should be powdered prior to mixing them with other ingredients. For the reason that powdered granules not only helps to mix all the ingredients uniformly, but also to keep away patients from recognizing the crystalline ingredients.

Moreover, you need to know that using the direct compression method of tablet processing, only a few active ingredients can be compressed. For this reason, usually active ingredients are mixed with several excipients to increase the compressibility as well as to delay the release rate of tablets. Accordingly, only the use of reduced and suitable size granules can ensure better compressibility and optimum release rate.