What are Effervescent Tablets?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Effervescent tablets are tablets that are designed to break down rapidly when they are dropped into water or another liquid, releasing carbon dioxide in the process. The rapid breakdown causes the tablet to dissolve into a solution, and it often makes the solution frothy or fizzy. These tablets can be used for the administration of various drugs. They also are used to package some cleaning products, such as the enzymatic cleaners designed for wetsuits.

An effervescent tablet dissolves in water.
An effervescent tablet dissolves in water.

These tablets are made by compressing the component ingredients into a dense mass, which is packaged in an airtight container or a blister pack. When people want to use them, the tablets can be dropped into water or another fluid to make a solution. Cleaning tablets can be added to laundry or filled tubs of water, depending on the package directions.

Denture cleaner may be packaged in an effervescent tablet.
Denture cleaner may be packaged in an effervescent tablet.

From a drug delivery perspective, there are several advantages to effervescent tablets. One of the biggest advantages is that they deliver drugs to the body rapidly, because the drug is delivered in the form of a solution that is easy to absorb. Dosage control also is easier, and effervescent tablets can be used to protect certain ingredients from the highly acidic environment of the stomach, so that the body has a chance to access them.

Effervescent medication may also be sold in powder form.
Effervescent medication may also be sold in powder form.

Large doses of medication can be easily delivered by effervescent tablets, because the patient just needs to drink one glass of fluid. People who have trouble swallowing pills often appreciate medicine that is available in the form of effervescent tablets, because it usually is easy to swallow the solution. For people who are experiencing nausea, the effervescence can help settle the stomach, and the rapid absorption means that even if the patient vomits, some of the drugs still will have been absorbed into the body.

Effervescent tablets are sold in airtight containers or blister packs.
Effervescent tablets are sold in airtight containers or blister packs.

The earliest versions of effervescent medications are believed to date to the 1700s, when drugs were delivered in the form of powders that were added to water to make a solution. Powdered forms of effervescent medication continue to be available. Many companies prefer effervescent tablets, however, because they are easy to package and are highly portable.

Consumers should be aware that when medications come packaged as effervescent tablets, the inactive ingredients might be different from those used in other forms of the same medication. People who have experienced allergies or adverse reactions to drugs should read the packaging carefully to confirm that the drug is safe to use. When one is in doubt about the safety of any medication or when adverse effects are noticed, a healthcare professional should be consulted.

Effervescence can help sooth the stomach of someone experiencing nausea.
Effervescence can help sooth the stomach of someone experiencing nausea.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments

anon290918

What are its chemical properties?

anon150904

How could I make my own?

anon120451

thanks. i was doing a project about effervescent tablets and it it helped me.

anon102503

thank you so much. this really helped me understand what an effervescent is. God bless you!

anon46239

thanks.

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