What are the differences between each type of pill?


What are the differences between each type of pill?

Tablets, capsules, and softgels are all different types of oral medications that are used to deliver drugs to the body. While they may seem similar at first glance, there are important differences between these three types of medications that affect how they are made, how they work, and how they are used.


Tablets are solid medications that are typically small, flat, and round or oval in shape. They are made by compressing the active ingredient and other ingredients such as fillers, binders, and excipients into a tablet form. Tablets can be coated or uncoated, and they may be scored or imprinted with identifying information.

  • Advantages:
    Precise dosing: Tablets are often manufactured to contain a precise amount of active ingredient, making it easier to ensure accurate dosing.
    Stability: Tablets can be designed to be stable and have a long shelf life.
    Ease of storage and transportation: Tablets are typically small, lightweight, and easy to store and transport.
  • Disadvantages:
    Difficulty swallowing: Some people may have difficulty swallowing tablets, especially if they are large or have a dry or chalky texture.
    Slow onset of action: Tablets may take longer to dissolve and start working compared to other oral medication forms.


Capsules are medications that consist of a gelatin or vegetarian-based shell that contains the active ingredient and other ingredients such as fillers and excipients. Capsules may be filled with powders, pellets, or liquids, and they come in a variety of sizes and shapes.

  • Advantages:
    Easy to swallow: Capsules are typically easier to swallow than tablets, especially for people who have difficulty swallowing larger pills.
    Faster onset of action: Capsules may dissolve more quickly than tablets, leading to a faster onset of action.
    Flexibility: Capsules can be designed to release their contents at different rates, making them suitable for a wide range of drugs and formulations.
  • Disadvantages:
    Instability: Capsules can be more sensitive to environmental factors such as temperature and humidity, which can affect their stability and shelf life.
    Difficulty identifying contents: Unlike tablets, capsules may not be imprinted with identifying information, making it more difficult to identify their contents.



Softgels are a type of capsule that has a gelatin or vegetarian-based shell that is soft and pliable. They contain a liquid or semi-solid fill that typically contains the active ingredient and other ingredients such as oils or other solvents.

  • Advantages:
    Easy to swallow: Softgels are typically easier to swallow than tablets, and they may be less likely to cause irritation or discomfort in the throat or esophagus.
    Improved bioavailability: Softgels may have improved bioavailability compared to tablets or capsules, as they can be designed to dissolve more easily and quickly in the stomach.
    Protection of contents: Softgels can protect their contents from oxidation, light, and other environmental factors that can degrade the active ingredient.
  • Disadvantages:
    Cost: Softgels can be more expensive to manufacture than tablets or capsules.
    Limited drug compatibility: Softgels may not be suitable for all drugs and formulations, as the liquid or semi-solid fill may not be able to contain certain active ingredients.