>>Here is the history of cotton in tablet bottles, explained in a nutshell…
>>Is cotton still necessary in tablet bottles?
>>Video of the NJM CL200 Cottoner
Why is there cotton at the top of tablet bottles? The purpose is served during handling and transportation of the bottled tablets. Tablet bottles are not filled to the top, and therefore, there is a void that would allow the tablets to move and rattle, which can cause chipping and breaking.
In the very early 20th century, a major drug manufacturer started using cotton to fill the headspace in tablet bottles as a solution to this problem. The cotton takes up the headspace in the not-quite-full bottle, securing the contents in place and averting damage caused by jostling.
This breakage prevention tactic is important for multiple reasons…
- Broken tablets cause loss of dosage control. Taking tablet fragments, rather than the preformed whole tablet, will cause under-dosage. And taking multiple fragments could cause over-dosage.
- It is true that the coatings tablets now receive in modern solid dosage preparation prevent chipping and breaking of the tablet, even in the event of friction and collision. However, the coating itself even slightly chipping could be problematic, for the following reason…
- If tablet coating chips, the tablet could be harder to swallow, taste bitter, and negatively influence the tablet’s time-release design.
Because coatings somewhat mute the necessity of cotton, and because genuine cotton can draw unwanted moisture to the tablets, some people feel that cotton may eventually disappear from tablet bottles.
However, as stated above, possible damage to the coating must also be considered, and a significant percentage of “cotton” these days is actually rayon, which does not draw moisture. For these reasons, cotton (or other fiber) continues to appear in tablet bottles, now, and seemingly into the future.
All that being said, here is a video of the premier cottoner available in the market, the NJM CL200 Cottoner.
For more information on the NJM CL200 Cottoner, click here.
For all NJM news, click here.