Capsule vs Tablet: Which is The Better Form of Supplement?

Capsule vs Tablet: Which is The Better Form of Supplement?

Supplements are substances taken to complement a regular diet by adding to the insufficient nutrients available or filling in for the missing ones.

Multivitamin supplements come in various ways, and the most popular forms are capsules and tablets.

Both manufacturers and consumers debate on which of the forms is best for supplements, and they will determine their decisions by certain controversies surrounding these forms.

How do pills work?

Many believe that capsules are absorbed faster than tablets; hence, the obvious choice will be to take encapsulated supplements.

In terms of manufacturing, the controversy is that it is generally cheaper to produce tablets than capsules due to the additional resources. 

Whether this is true or not, we will find out in this post as we have gathered all the information you need about capsule vs. tablet supplements, including their effectiveness and swallowing tips.


An Overview of Supplements in Tablets

Tablets are oral solid medication/supplements made with a particular shape and size.

They contain the medication components together with an additive blended to help it retain its shape. 

Tablets are widely known as they are the traditional forms of drug dosages.

There are several types of tablets, for example, enteric tablets, compressed tablets, sugar-coated tablets, chewable tablets, etc.

Overview of Supplements in Tablets - iPharmaHome Pharmacy Online Malaysia

Tablets can be made in any shape and size, depending on the number of ingredients in them.


Below is an overview of tablet supplements in terms of method of manufacturing, the properties, metabolism as well as the pro and cons.


1. Manufacturing

The manufacturing process of tablets is inexpensive compared to capsules; hence it is suitable for large-scale production. 

Production of tablets is by either wet granulation, dry granulation, or compression.

Wet granulation involves accumulating powder to form a firm, solid substance, using fluids such as isopropanol, water, etc.

On the other hand, dry granulation is the aggregation of powder to form tablets without using moisture or any fluid.

The usual consideration is when certain components of the drug disintegrate when exposed to moisture or when these components do not have a uniform flow.

Compression is a method that uses high pressure to compress powder into a solid. The components must flow uniformly for this method to be suitable.


2. Properties 

Properties of Tablets Supplements - iPharmaHome Pharmacy Online MalaysiaTablets have a longer shelf life compared to capsules. Source:


Tablet dosage form contains both active ingredients and excipients. Excipients are additions to retain supplements’ integrity when in the external environment and during metabolism in the human body. 

Examples of excipients are as follows;

  • Coating: It is an excipient that protects the tablet from moisture and regulates release time.
  • Binder: Tor combining the active ingredients.
  • Filler: It is an addition to achieve a manageable size.
  • Lubricant: It lubricates tablets preventing friction between the tablet and the walls.

3. Metabolism  

Metabolism of Tablets Supplements - iPharmaHome Pharmacy Online Malaysia

The liver is an important part of drug metabolism in the human body. Source:


So how do pills work? In the human body, drugs go through several changes from ingestion to absorption.

Since we take tablets orally, they pass through our gastrointestinal tract to be broken down and absorbed.

The acid in the stomach breaks down the tablet, and then it goes to the liver. The liver metabolizes the drug by converting it from an inactive to an active form.

The drug will then dissolve and go into the bloodstream for absorption.

The tablet content not absorbed will be excreted from the body via feces and or urine.



They are generally inexpensive.

Manufacturing tablets by granulations can affect the components by interfering with conditions such as heat and moisture.

They have a longer shelf life.

Some people may be allergic to the coating.

Some of its excipients regulate its release hence maximize on absorption.

There is an unpleasant taste when swallowing.

Come in different shapes, appearances, and sizes.

They can be split, dissolved, or crushed easily, allowing for various options when taking them.

Editor’s Top Picks on Best Tablets Supplements To Buy in Malaysia: 



An example of a good tablet supplement is the SWISSE Glucosamine Sulphate 1500mg (210 tablets).

The supplement is formulated with all the requirements to meet its intended use.

Buy SWISSE Glucosamine Sulphate here

What About Capsules?

Overview of Supplements in Capsules - iPharmaHome Pharmacy Online MalaysiaPackaging supplements in a capsule presents several advantages.


A capsule is a form of widely preferred dosage, especially for supplements like vitamin supplements, due to many advantages to both manufacturers and consumers.

Capsules are medications confined in a one-piece or two-piece shell where it will be released and absorbed at the appropriate time.

The shell offers protection from various conditions that might predispose the supplement to damage that makes it useless or dangerous to the body.


1. Manufacturing

Hard capsules are produced in half, a body and a cap.

The gelatin capsules are formed by dipping pins into hot gelatin at room temperature, remove them, and leave to dry.

Once dry, capsules are released from the pins, trimmed to the desired size, and filled with the supplement/drug.

For soft gelatin capsule pills, the manufacturing techniques require machines like rotary or dosator capsule machines

These machines use drop formation to create capsules. 

The active ingredients you can load into empty capsules include dry solids, semi-solids, and liquids.

Also, sometimes manufacturers can include more than one drug type in the capsule.  

Additionally, compared to tablets, it is more expensive to produce capsules, and the rate is also slower.


2. Properties

What are capsules made of? You can derive capsules from: gelatin from animals, cellulose from plants, and starch such as starch hydrolysate.

The cellulose option is for vegans.

Gelatin is a derivative of collagen hydrolysis from animals and sometimes cellulose.

Dry active ingredients are normally used in hard capsules, while active ingredients suspended or dissolved in oil are for soft capsules. 

Other active ingredients in supplements may include omega 3, fish oils, etc.

Capsules are very easy to swallow as the material does not allow direct contact with the drug or supplement, meaning there will be no unpleasant drug taste.

Additionally, you can even open the capsules and pour the contents into a drink to make swallowing easier.


3. Metabolism 

How long does it take for a capsule to dissolve in your stomach? The metabolism of capsules is similar to tablets; the only difference is the protective cover.

The body breaks the capsule down then absorbs the active ingredients into the bloodstream. 

Contrary to popular belief that capsules are absorbed faster, with advancements in modern medicine, both tablets and capsules have approximately the same absorption rate.

The difference depends on the excipients used or the active ingredients.

However, capsules are still a little bit faster than tablets.



Capsules are easier to swallow due to their smoothness and no unpleasant taste.

Contain lower dosages.

It reduces irritation to the stomach walls.

It is usually a bit expensive compared to tablets.

Best for ingredients with irritating taste and odor.

Capsules require specialized storage since moisture and heat can affect their integrity.

Fewer excipients are needed.

They have a shorter shelf life.

Permits mixing of different ingredients.

You can easily open up capsules to use as a powder.

Editor’s Top Picks on Best Capsules Supplements To Buy in Malaysia: 



SWISSE High Strength Cranberry 25,000mg (90 tablets) is a good example of a capsule for your supplements. It is a high-quality supplement recommended for you.

Buy SWISSE High Strength Cranberry here

Tablet vs. Capsule: Which is More Effective?

A comparison between the effectiveness of capsules and tablets and find out which one is better.

The battle of tablets vs. capsules is very confusing since both have their advantages and disadvantages almost in equal measure. 

For instance, most consumers will opt for capsules due to the ease of swallowing, but manufacturers tend to go for tablets because they are produced easily on a large scale at a considerable price.

Since this debate doesn’t seem to end, below is a table comparison showing the difference between tablets and capsules.



Active ingredients

Contain more active ingredients in one tablet.

Carry less active ingredients in a capsule.

Shelf life

The coating on tablets allows them to have a longer shelf life.

They are generally affected by external conditions, i.e., moisture and heat, reducing their shelf life. 


Contain more ingredients, hence increasing the risk of sensitivity or overdosing if not taken according to prescription.

Hard-shelled capsules have fewer ingredients, while soft gel has more ingredients(synthetic). They also present risks but fewer.


Excipients are additions to ensure the tablet reaches its absorption destination. These additives are many, each with its functions.

There are excipients in the capsules, but due to the capsule properties, the additives are few.


They work fast after a breakdown in the gastrointestinal tract and absorption into the bloodstream; however, the number of ingredients and additives may interfere.

Their metabolism is also fast, depending on the ingredients and additives.


They are generally economical, especially when produced on a large scale.

They can be quite expensive.

Ease of swallowing

Swallowing may be difficult for tablet medicine due to unpleasant taste and odor.

It is very easy to swallow since the capsule covers any taste and odor that might be irritating.


Do tablets or capsules work faster?

These forms of dosages tend to work simultaneously; however, capsules usually work faster since their disintegration is faster. 

A fast breakdown of capsule supplements is not necessarily a good thing.

The effect can be positive, negative, or neutral depending on the content of the capsule or tablet and the location in the human body.

Remember always to consult a professional like a dietician or a doctor whenever you doubt any type of supplement.


Quick Tips on Making Tablet or Capsule Swallowing Easier

Some people prefer injections for medications since they face challenges when it comes to swallowing tablets or capsules.

Tablets tend to have an irking taste, odor, and large size, which become uncomfortable to swallow. Capsules on the other hand, can also be large, making them hard to swallow.

Swallowing should not be a problem, especially when taking the needed supplements. You can overcome this challenge through some swallowing techniques that will help in promoting comfort.

Quick Tips on Making Tablet or Capsule Swallowing Easier - iPharmaHome Pharmacy Online Malaysia

You can make medicine swallowing easier by following swallowing tips. Source:


Tips #1: Drink lots of water before taking the capsule pill or tablet.

The rationale of drinking water beforehand is to lubricate the mouth and throat, preparing them for the tablet medicine. Then, when swallowing, do that with water too.


Tips #2: Use a bottle.

Using a bottle is an effective swallowing technique. Do this by placing a tablet into your tongue, then close the lips tightly around the bottle and suck while swallowing both water and pill. 


Tips #3: You can lean forward.

This technique also has shown great results even when using a cup. 

Simply put the medicinal capsule in your mouth, drink water but do not swallow, then lean forward with your chin towards your chest, then swallow both water and pill.


Tips #4: Place the tablet at the rear of the mouth.

You can place your tablet at the back of your mouth so it will be easier to swallow when you take in water.


Tips #5: Put the pill in thick fluids.

Putting the pill in thick fluids will help in swallowing since you will concentrate on swallowing the liquid, pushing the pill capsule.


Tips #6: Use a straw or swallowing cup.

DISCLAIMER: when consuming your pills, it is crucial to read the instructions or ask your doctor about the adverse drug reactions or the pill’s side effects. Inquire whether it is okay to crush the pills.

These two options can help since the reflex of sucking on a straw will help the pill go down.

Crushing pills increase their surface area leading to a faster absorption into the bloodstream. While some drugs may not cause a problem, others may lead to an overdose as the body is supposed to absorb them at a slower rate.

The coating or capsules on drugs usually help prevent such instances of overdose; hence you should be cautious before crashing or removing them.

The overdose can lead to irritations and overdose symptoms like headaches, dizziness, nausea, etc.



The debate between capsules and tablets has come to an end- with the clear winner being capsules. From their properties such as easiness in swallowing, fast metabolism, and the inclusion of vegans, capsules are the better form of supplement.

At IpaharmaHome, we offer different types of supplements like anti-aging supplements, weight management supplements, multivitamins supplements, and more.

These supplements are all available in tablet and capsule form, depending on your preferred brand.

We have various other supplements that are helpful for your health, and they are from different brands. The two most popular brands we have are SWISSE Malaysia and BLACKMORES Malaysia supplements.

Reach out to us on our website to get the original products from the most trusted brands, from the most trusted Malaysia online pharmacy!


For more supplements products from iPharmaHome pharmacy online Malaysia:


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