A pill was originally defined as a small, round, solid pharmaceutical oral dosage form of medication that was in use before the advent of tablets and capsules. Pills were made by mixing the active ingredients with an excipient such as glucose syrup in a mortar and pestle to form a paste, then rolling the mass into a long cylindrical shape (called a "pipe"), and dividing it into equal portions, which were then rolled into balls, and often coated with sugar to make them more palatable.
The oldest known pills were made of the zinc carbonates hydrozincite and smithsonite. The pills were used for sore eyes, and were found aboard a Roman ship Relitto del Pozzino which wrecked in 140 BC.
- 1918 US dispensatory article
- Bilton, Nick (June 23, 2013). "Disruptions: Medicine That Monitors You". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 24, 2013.
- "World's oldest pills treated sore eyes". New Scientist. 7 January 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
- "Ingredients of a 2,000-y-old medicine revealed by chemical, mineralogical, and botanical investigations". PNAS. 7 January 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pills.|
- Duke University History of Medicine collections
- Pills and pill-making - Museum of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain