Effervescent or carbon tablets are tablets which are designed to break in contact with water or another liquid, releasing carbon dioxide in the process. Rapid breakdown often may cause the tablet to dissolve into a solution, and is also often followed by a froth. Tablets of this kind are usually used to deliver drugs or to encapsulate cleaning products, such as the enzymatic cleaners designed for wetsuits.
These tablets are products of compression of component ingredients in the form of powders into a dense mass, which is packaged in blister pack, or with a hermetically sealed package with incorporated desiccant in the cap. When it is necessary, people can drop them into water or another liquid to make a solution. Cleaning tablets may be added to laundry or filled tubs of water, depending on the package directions.
Effervescent tablets have been used as products of the pharmaceutical and dietary industries for decades. Consumption of these tablets is high in Europe, and it is growing in the United States. Effervescent tablets designed for human consumption often contain sodium bicarbonate and citric acid as non-toxic reagents for releasing carbon dioxide.
The powdered ingredients are also packaged and sold as effervescent powders or may be granulated and sold as effervescent granules. Generally powdered ingredients are first granularized before being made into tablets.
Effervescent medicinal beverages date back to the late 1800s and originally arose to mask the taste of bitter waters taken as curatives, during the water cure craze of that era.
There are several categories of active ingredients in effervescent preparations:
- Those that are difficult to digest or disruptive to the stomach or esophagus
- Those that are pH–sensitive, such as amino acids and antibiotics.
- Those requiring a large dose.
- Those that are susceptible to light, oxygen, or moisture.
- Others types
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- British Pharmacopeia 2003
- International Pharmacopoeia 2006. World Health Organization. 2006. p. 966. ISBN 978-92-4-156301-7. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
- "Powders and Granules". The Pharmaceutics and Compounding Laboratory. University of North Carolina. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
- Stahl, Harald (Apr 1, 2003). "Effervescent Dosage Manufacturing". www.pharmtech.com. PharmTech.
- W. A. Campbell (June, 1966) James Crossley Eno and the Rise of the Health Salts Trade. University Of Newcastle Upon Tyne Medical Gazette 60(3):350. Reprinted as an appendix - pp 259ff in W. A. Campbell. The Analytical Chemist In Nineteenth Century English Social History Thesis presented for the degree of Master of Letters in the University of Durham. Newcastle upon Tyne July 1971
- "In Brief: Effervescent Alendronate". The Medical Letter. October 15, 2012.