Causes and Remedies of Sticking in Tablet Manufacturing : Pharmaceutical Guidelines

Causes and Remedies of Sticking in Tablet Manufacturing

Sticking is a major defect of tablets occurred during the manufacturing. This article will highlight the causes and remedies of sticking.
The tablet production process has become more simplified and more mechanized with the development of technology. However, the complexity of a tablet punching process has increased. But relatively the problems associated with the tablet manufacturing process have not yet been significantly reduced.

Research has revealed that tablet processing problems can be due to the problems mostly found either in the formulation or in the compression. Sticking is one of the major problems associated with tablet manufacturing, and it is due to the inaccurate addition of excipients or errors in the granulation process.

Sticking in TabletsSticking is also called filming. Sticking/filming is one of the major problems that tablet manufacturing companies face over and over again. Mostly, tablet sticking occurs when granulated powder sticks to the punch surface causing deformed tablets.

Not only is the problem costly to the manufacturers but also for the formulators. Sticking is caused by a number of factors including the machines used in the tablet manufacturing process.

First, sticking is caused especially when the granules are not dried properly. In this case, the granules should be properly dried before the tablet making process starts. 

In addition, the manufacturers should also assess and analyze the moisture content in order to determine the limits at which the process can be done without causing tablet sticking.

Tablet sticking can also be occurred because of either too little or improper granule lubrication. In this stage, it is up to the formulator to determine the exact cause and remedy it appropriately. The formulator should add more lubricants if it is found out that little lubrication is the reason why the tablets are sticking. And if the lubricant used is improper, proper oil should be used in order to remedy tablet sticking problem.


In addition, too much binder has also been found to be the reason for tablet sticking in the manufacturing process. In this case, there are two possibilities to remedy the problem. The first remedy is to reduce the amount of binder used in the manufacturing process. Alternatively, the binder in question can also be changed so as to prevent the tablet sticking problem.

Moreover, tablet sticking is also brought up by hygroscopic granular materials. If this is the cause of tablet sticking, then the granulation process should be modified and compressed under controlled humidity. Sticking can also be due to either too soft or weak granules. It is important to optimize the amount of binder and the granulation technique in order to prevent tablet sticking.


Nonetheless, tablet sticking can also be caused by either oily or way materials. The tablet manufacturers should, therefore, modify the mixing process in order to prevent tablet sticking. In addition, the manufacturers can also add an absorbent to remedy sticking as a result of oily materials.

On the other hand, tablet sticking can also be associated with a number of factors that are usually related to the machines in use. Sticking is caused when a machine having too deep concavity for granulation is used. The concavity should be reduced to optimum in order to prevent tablet sticking. Too little pressure has also been found to cause tablet sticking. If too little pressure is the problem, then increasing the pressure will help prevent tablet sticking.

It has also been found out that compressing too fast can lead to tablet sticking in the manufacturing process. Therefore, the speed at which the granules are compressed should be quite slow but appropriate for the process.





Ankur Choudhary is India's first professional pharmaceutical blogger, author and founder of Pharmaceutical Guidelines, a widely-read pharmaceutical blog since 2008. Sign-up for the free email updates for your daily dose of pharmaceutical tips.
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