Pills, tablets and capsules are undoubtedly the most convenient and agreeable forms of administering medicinal substances. They spare the inconvenience of carrying bottles, spoons or medicine glasses, often almost impossible for business people or travelers. The tasting of bitter and nauseous remedies is avoided. Correct division of doses of insoluble substances can be more easily accomplished than in the liquid form of medication. Although these little bodies are usually made up of the most important and powerful therapeutic agents, they are often prescribed with less care than liquids of the same character.
Pharmaceutically speaking, pills may consist of three parts: 1, the active ingredients; 2, the excipient, and 3, the coating. The active ingredients may be alkaloids and their salts, resins, neutral principles, extracts, the heavy metals and their salts, or the products of coal-tar. As they are usually administered with a view of producing either a local or systemic
FINKELPEARL H. THE PREPARATION AND ADMINISTRATION OF PILLS, TABLETS AND CAPSULES. JAMA. 1899;XXXIII(21):1259–1260. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.92450730015001f
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