Pharmacy World and Science

, Volume 23, Issue 5, pp 185–188 | Cite as

Patients' evaluation of shape, size and colour of solid dosage forms

  • A.B.A. Overgaard
  • J. Møller‐Sonnergaard
  • L.L. Christrup
  • J. Højsted
  • R. Hansen


Aim:The aim of the study was to investigate the swallow ability and the patient preferences of tablets and capsules with different sizes, shapes, surfaces and colours.

Method: Patients were asked to swallow tablets with different surface and size, while tablets with different shape and colour were visually assessed. They were asked to indicate their preferences.

Results: Gelatine capsules were found easier to swallow than tablets and coated tablets were found easier than uncoated normal tablets. The preferred colour was white both for tables and capsules, and the most disliked colours were purple tablets and brown capsules. The preferred shape was strongly arched circular for small tablets, oval for medium sized and big tablets. The difficulty to swallow tablets increased with increasing size.

Conclusion: According to the results of this study, the ideal tablet is small and white, strongly arched circular and coated. If the amount of drug requires a bigger tablet, the preferred fomat is oblong or oval with a coating. In general capsules were preferred over tablets.

Capsules Colour Pain centre Patient Shape Size Swallowability Tablet 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • A.B.A. Overgaard
    • 1
  • J. Møller‐Sonnergaard
    • 1
  • L.L. Christrup
    • 1
  • J. Højsted
    • 2
  • R. Hansen
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PharmaceuticsThe Royal Danish School of PharmacyCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.Multidisciplinary Pain CentreUniversity Hospital of CopenhagenGermany
  3. 3.Multidisciplinary Pain CentreHerlev University HospitalIHerlev Denmark

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