Innovation in herbal medicine can be found throughout the world these days, and there is no better example of manufacturing and dosage vicissitude than the dripping pill (such as Cardiotonic Pill or CP), manufactured by Tasly Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., one of the top five largest pharmaceutical companies in China. The Dripping Pill is a rapidly developing form of Chinese herbal medicine, prepared by blending an herbal extract and a matrix under thermal conditions and dripping the mixture into a cooling liquid in which the droplets are insoluble. The process of pill formation results in a solid-dispersoid in a pill shape.

Characteristics of the Dosage Form:

Dripping pills are a promising dosage form. The process of formation is similar to that of preparing a solid dispersoid by melting. Melting herbal extract and matrix together make the botanical molecules disperse evenly throughout the matrix, and when congealed to from a eutectic solution, both herbal extract and the matrix molecules turn into very fine, tiny crystals. These crystals are easily absorbed with a higher bioavailability, rapid biological activity and lower adverse effects compared with conventional dosage forms such as, tablets and capsules. This helps promote stability of the herbal extract. Fine crystals of the herbal molecules are tightly embedded in the matrix, with no herbal powder or dust produced during manufacturing. Each single dose is exact and reproducible due to the even distribution of the herbal extract.

Why do Dripping Pills Increase Bioavailability?

Formation of tiny, fine crystals: In the preparation of dripping pills, herbal extract and matrix are melted together to make a solution in which the herbal extract is distributed in molecular form within the matrix. When the solution cools down the solubility decreases and the molecules of the herbal extract are separated out. Due to rapid cooling, the viscosity of the solution increases rapidly, the solution is solidified, and the botanical molecules separated out cannot conglomerate into large crystals. As a result, micro-crystals are formed. These micro-crystals have a rapidly-dissolvable property within body fluids and a better bioavailability. For example, when Griseofulvin (an antifungal drug) Dripping Pill with PEG 6000 in its matrix is examined under a microscope, it can be seen that crystals at a size between 2-3µ account for only 5.39%, while the remaining is composed of crystals under 2µ.

Dissolubility, solubility and surface activity of the matrix: In dripping pills, the poorly soluble microcrystals of the herbal extract are surrounded tightly by a water-soluble matrix. The matrix dissolves quickly in body fluids, and the herbal extract will form a homogeneous suspension of micro-crystals when agitated slightly, allowing the herbal extract to come in contact with the body fluid closely and increase the dissolution process.

Elimination of aggregation and agglomeration of herbal extract powder: When an herbal extract with low water-solubility in powder form is put into water, some small conglomerations floating on the water surface usually occur during the course of dissolution. They are difficult to disperse, even with strong stirring. In the case of dripping pills, the tiny, fine crystals of the herbal extract are embedded in the water-soluble matrix, and thus no aggregation or agglomeration will occur. The herbal extract will become wet and begin dissolving quickly as the surrounding matrix dissolves.

As you can see, it is an intense and rigorous manufacturing process to create such an innovative new form as the dripping pill. But, when the benefits and effectiveness are so high, it seems essential to have access to such a dosage form. TCMzone LLC is proud to be working with Tasly, who believes in the task of finding the most effective ways to help patients with herbal medicine, and bringing these products to the forefront of our industry worldwide.