MadSci Network: Microbiology

Re: Does the liquid you take a pill with affect it's dissolving rate?

Date: Sat Apr 29 11:38:42 2006
Posted By: Eli Hestermann, Assistant Professor
Area of science: Microbiology
ID: 1138036852.Mi

The short answer is no, the liquid you take a pill with probably won't affect the rate at which it dissolves. Tablets are designed to dissolve in most any liquid, and any small differences in how fast they dissolve won't have an effect on the person taking them.

The longer answer is that it depends on what type of coating is used on the tablet. A wide variety of materials are used to coat tablets, and each of these has its own chemical properties. For example, some have "enteric coatings" that are designed to resist the acid present in the stomach and dissolve later in the small intestine. The rate at which these tablets dissolve could be affected by someone taking antacids, for example. A good description of the composition of tablets can be found on the wikipedia: blet

Another factor to consider is that once the tablet dissolves, the drug has to get into the blood stream. There are lots of examples of food, drink, or other drugs affecting how fast the drug gets out of the digestive system and into the blood.

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