HPMC Capsules: Current Status and Future Prospects
Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) is employed for a wide variety of pharmaceutical and food preparations. Its applications as viscolizing agent (thickening agent), coating polymer, bioadhesive, in solid dispersion to enhance solubility, binder in the process of granulation and in modified release formulations have been well documented. One other notable use is in the production of capsule shells, replacing the animal derived gelatin in conventional two-piece capsules. The aim of this review is to systemically survey published literature on the HPMC use in capsule shells and resolve questions regarding their suitability as a replacement for hard gelatin capsules. Future refinements in the production and filling of HPMC capsule shells and improvement in their in vivo/in vitro dissolution would ensure their superiority over hard gelatin capsules.