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Old 02-05-2009, 08:36 AM
 
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I know this is kind of a frivolous topic, but I was wondering why things like pain killers, cold meds, and such almost always have a dosage of TWO tablets? Why don't the manufacturers just put a full dose into ONE tablet? It would mean less manufacturing costs and more profit for them per container.

Inquiring minds want to know!
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Old 02-05-2009, 03:56 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
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Good question!!! I'd like to know why they put 15 tablets in a bottle that could hold 150, and then put THAT in a box that could hold 2 bottles!??
And why do they advertise prescriptions on TV and magazines??? We can prescribe them to ourselves--what a waste of money!
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZugZub View Post
I know this is kind of a frivolous topic, but I was wondering why things like pain killers, cold meds, and such almost always have a dosage of TWO tablets? Why don't the manufacturers just put a full dose into ONE tablet? It would mean less manufacturing costs and more profit for them per container.

Inquiring minds want to know!
well, 2 is usually the adult dosage, right? if the drug is safe for kids, most likely they would take only one pill. and some people may only have minor pain so can get by w/ only half the adult dose.
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:42 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
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I think this goes back to a successful advertising campaign by Alka-Seltzer. I typically only take one asperin or similar drugs. If one is not enough I take the 2nd one.
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:26 PM
 
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The effects of one pill may have worn off by the time that you need the second one. Some medications come in a time release type formula that eliminates the two pill problem.

However, if one pill is large, combining two that size would make it hard for a lot of people to swallow.

I would love to see the One-A-Day vitamins in a smaller pill. I can't get that big one down. I have to cut it in half. I'd take two small pills over one large one, anytime!
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:42 PM
 
7,079 posts, read 35,581,040 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Padgett2 View Post
The effects of one pill may have worn off by the time that you need the second one. Some medications come in a time release type formula that eliminates the two pill problem.

However, if one pill is large, combining two that size would make it hard for a lot of people to swallow.

!
The second part is the correct explanation. The contents of a tablet are NOT just the active drug. The tablet also contains substances called 'excipients' which are not pharmacologically active, but are necessary to make a tablet that's large enough to pick up, etc. but not too big to swallow. Excipients also affect the pharmacokinetics, the rate at which the drug goes into solution in the GI tract, the absorption of the drug and the overall exposure (called the AUC: area under the curve of the plasma concentration of the drug over time).

When a drug is marketed, manufacturers have to prove that the maximal concentration (Cmax) occurs at the time that would be expected from other similar brands (in the case of generic drugs, like aspirin, that are made by many manufacturers) or similar products (like a generic form of a drug that was previously under patent). Manufacturers have to show that they meet certain rates of dissolution, stability (another function of excipients - they help to maintain the stability of some drugs), and other parameters that are required by regulatory authorities (like the FDA in the US or the MHRA in the UK).

Futhermore, drugs have a minimal concentration at which they're active and a concentration above which they can be toxic. All this is calculated into how much is put into a tablet, taking into consideration the dissolution and absorption parameters. And also taking into account that the average person is 75 kg or so. This is part of the development of a new drug and all other forms of that drug (like generics when the patent has expired) have to demonstrate that those parameters for the generic drug are the same as those of the patented drug. It has nothing to do with time release. It's all about the therapeutic concentration of the drug, the absorption, dissolution and toxic concentration of a drug. It's a pretty complex process.
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Old 02-06-2009, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Land of 10000 Lakes +
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Easier to swallow?
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Old 02-07-2009, 04:23 AM
 
Location: Florida
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Maybe more money is made from the fillers than the active ingredient?
With prescription drugs, very often, the dosage is doubled or even tripled without increasing the size if the tablet/capsule.
Some OTC do it For instance,the 81 mg aspirin are the same size as full strength.Higher doses of most chondrotin/glusamine are the same size.
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Old 02-07-2009, 04:30 AM
 
Location: Mayberry
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My Dad takes 1 Advil, he says that works for him, although he took 2 Aleve and that dosage is 1 pill and he didn't know that, so it pays to read the directions.
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Old 02-07-2009, 05:31 AM
 
7,079 posts, read 35,581,040 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old_cold View Post
Maybe more money is made from the fillers than the active ingredient?
With prescription drugs, very often, the dosage is doubled or even tripled without increasing the size if the tablet/capsule.
Some OTC do it For instance,the 81 mg aspirin are the same size as full strength.Higher doses of most chondrotin/glusamine are the same size.
No, no money is made that way.

If you actually SAW 325 mg of aspirin, it's a TINY amount. Tablets that size would very difficult to handle, can be easily dropped and are child hazards. The excipient is necessary, as I said above, to make the tablet easily handled but not too big to be easily swallowed. And the excipient is also important in the dissolution characteristics of the tablet, which must meet certain standards, as I explained above.
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