Punch or Tamp -- Capsule compounding in pharmaceutics lab courses

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Poster Presentation

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Objectives: To incorporate the use of a tamping capsule machine in a pharmaceutics lab course and to compare this method alongside the traditional manual punch method.

Method: A simple tamping capsule machine model was selected and added to the pharmaceutics lab unit on capsule compounding. The students were asked to prepare 81 mg aspirin capsules twice during two consecutive lab sessions. The manual punch method was used during week-1. The fill weight was specified, and “Rule-of-Seven” was used to select the capsule size. The individual capsule weight was monitored throughout the compounding process. The capsule machine was used during week-2. The capsule size was specified, but the total fill weight was not. The students used the diluent volume displacement approach to calculate the amount of diluent needed and the final fill weight.

Results: Sixty-seven students completed the two lab sessions on capsule compounding. The students also checked the individual weight of the finished capsules with 95–105% target weight as the passing criteria. For the punch method, 43 students met the passing criteria for all their capsules. For the capsule machine method, only 5 students did. In a written questionnaire, 67% students preferred the punch method due to accurate weight control, and the rest of the class preferred the machine method because of time efficiency.

Implications: This lab unit exposed the students to a simple capsule machine and the relevance of volume displacement calculations. It also allowed the students to compare the two capsule compounding methods and identify potential quality issues.




Presented at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington, July 2010.

Abstract published in American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 2010; 74 (5) Article 96: https://www.ajpe.org/doi/full/10.5688/aj740596

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