Difference between Powder and Granules in Pharmaceuticals Industry?

Difference between Powder and Granules, Definition of Granules: Difference between Powder and Granules, Granules: It is the aggregations of small particle of power varies in size between 0.2 and 0.4 mm depending on their subsequent size. When granules are used as Tablet and Capsules, their size may vary from 0.2 and 0.5 mm. They are […]

Difference between Powder and Granules, Definition of Granules:

Difference between Powder and Granules, Granules: It is the aggregations of small particle of power varies in size between 0.2 and 0.4 mm depending on their subsequent size. When granules are used as Tablet and Capsules, their size may vary from 0.2 and 0.5 mm.

They are generally spherical in shape but size may be change based on varies size reduction process. In pharmaceutical industry, the powdered particles are combined to form bigger one is known as granules which is used I various pharmaceutical compounding.


Difference between Powder and Granules, Powder: The power can be defined as a dry bulk solid composed of fine particles and free flowing on shaken or slanted. This is the special type of granules but the term granules and powder used to distinct different type of materials. Actually powder means very fine particle and granules means larger coarse particle. Powder refers to the finer particle compare to granules.

Due to particle size variation powder shows lower flow property and the granules shows the higher flow property. Due to small particle size the power easily form clumps when start flowing and granules generally tend to form clumps, only when we wet the granules then it form clumps.

Importance of Powders and Granules in Pharmaceutical Sector


The particle form granules then the segregation of granules tend to less compare to power. The granules can easily withstand in atmosphere upon standing in long time but powder can’t stand long tine in this condition. You can wet the granules in more easy way by liquid solvent. Various types of dry powder products are available in the current market which further made solution and suspension upon addition solvent. Generally powder in pharmaceuticals company considered in solid dosage form which may contains medicinal or non-medicinal [Excipients] ingredients use for external or internal purpose. The pharmaceutical powder may be obtained from comminuting, grinding and crushing. The particle size of the powder may vary from 10 nm to 1000 μm.

In the modern history the usage of powder is increasing day by day in various field mainly in chemicals, cosmetics, foods and pharmaceuticals. The most of the pharmaceuticals dosage form administer as solid stage dosage form which is mainly prepared by powder [Granules] by means of various ways as processing and formulations.

The widely used pharmaceuticals dosage form is tablets and capsule. The usage of powder has been replaced by the widely used pharmaceuticals dosage form, Tablets and Capsule. That is the most traditional form of medicine continue to use this dosage form until today and continuing.


Difference between Powder and Granules?

Powder Granules
Any distinct/discrete particles having size less than 1000 µm is known as Powder.Aggregations of small particle of power varies in size between 0.2 and 0.4 mm known as Granules.
Having higher cohesive strength due to fine particle.Having lower cohesive strength due to coarse particle.
Flow property is very low compare to granules and not suitable for tablet compression.High flow property compare to Powder can produce uniform tablet weight.
During compression this can be separated if it contains different ingredients.Less chance of separation during compression though it contains different ingredients.
Due to high cohesive strength, it forms high density layer at the upper portion create weight variation during compression. Due to low cohesive strength, it forms uniform layer in every portion produce less weight variation during compression.
Air may entrapped during compression of tablets increase capping tendency.Less chance of air entrapping during compression so significantly reduce capping tendency.
It may be blown from the die and cause frequently sticking problem during tablet compression.It can’t blown out from the die so less chance to cause sticking problem during compression.
The Flow-Function[FF] value is lower limit, so it shows low flow property on hopper.The Flow-Function[FF] value is higher limit, so it shows high flow property on hopper ensure smooth operation
It requires steeper hopper angle to ensure flow property.Not require to steeper hopper angle, work well in any suitable hopper.
Not suitable for compression tablet, Encapsulation process, may be used for dry solid preparation which further tend to form solution and suspension upon addition of solvent.Very much suitable to compress tablet and Encapsulation process, produce uniform tablet and Capsule

Advantages and Disadvantages of Pharmaceutical Powders

Advantage of Powders

Pharmaceutical powders offer numerous benefits to the pharmaceutical industry.

  • Ease of administration: Powders can be formulated into various dosage forms such as tablets, capsules, suspensions or solutions, making them versatile for oral, topical or inhalation administration.
  • Better solubility: Some drugs are poorly soluble in liquid form but can be soluble in powder form, increasing bioavailability and therapeutic efficacy.
  • Dosage flexibility: The powder allows precise dosage control and allows the dosage to be adjusted according to the patient’s needs. This is particularly useful in pediatrics and geriatrics where dosage adjustments may be necessary.
  • Stability: Many pharmaceutical powders are more stable than liquid formulations because they are less susceptible to chemical degradation or microbial contamination.
  • Longer Shelf Life: Properly manufactured and stored powders have a longer shelf life than liquid formulations, reducing the frequency of production and replenishment.
  • Easier to transport and store: Powders are often lighter and more compact than liquid formulations, making transport and storage easier and less expensive, which can be particularly useful in resource-limited environments.
  • Flexibility in formulation: Pharmaceutical powders provide flexibility in formulation development by mixing various excipients to modify release kinetics, improve taste, increase stability or facilitate administration.
  • Reduced risk of spills and leaks: Unlike liquid formulations, powders are less likely to leak or leak during transport and handling, reducing waste and potential safety hazards.
  • Customization: Powder formulations can be customized for patients with specific requirements such as: B. Patients who are allergic to certain ingredients or who require special dosage forms such as powders for reconstitution.
  • Cost-effectiveness: In some cases, manufacturing pharmaceutical powders can be more cost-effective than manufacturing liquid formulations because the manufacturing process is simpler and packaging requirements are less.
  • Pharmaceutical powders are the preferred dosage form for many drugs in the pharmaceutical industry as they offer numerous advantages in terms of delivery, stability, flexibility and cost-effectiveness.


Disadvantages of Powders

Like any other drug, pharmaceutical powder also has its drawbacks. Some of these are:

  • Limited comfort: Powders often need to be measured and mixed with water or other liquid before ingestion, which can be particularly uncomfortable for patients with mobility or dexterity issues.
  • Dosage Accuracy: Ensuring an accurate dosage can be difficult with powders as slight differences in measuring or mixing can result in inaccurate dosage delivery.
  • Stability: Some pharmaceutical powders may have stability issues, especially if they are sensitive to humidity, air, or temperature. This may affect its lifespan and performance.
  • Palatability: Many pharmaceutical powders have an unpleasant taste or texture, making them difficult for patients to swallow or ingest.
  • Storage: Powders may require specific storage conditions to maintain stability and potency, such as: B. Cool, dry environment or protected from light.
  • Dosage Flexibility: Powders do not offer the same level of dosing flexibility as other dosage forms, such as tablets or capsules, which may limit their usefulness in certain situations.
  • Accidental inhalation: There is a risk of accidental inhalation when handling powders, which can be particularly dangerous for some medications.
  • Manufacturing Challenges: Manufacturing pharmaceutical powders can be complex and require specialized equipment and processes, which can increase manufacturing costs.
  • Packaging: Powders may require special packaging to ensure proper control and dosing, which can increase production costs and have environmental impacts.
  • Patient Compliance: Some patients may have difficulty adhering to the regimen of measuring and mixing powders, resulting in medication compliance issues.
  • Powdered pharmaceuticals can be effective for drug delivery, but they also have some disadvantages that must be carefully considered when choosing the appropriate dosage form for a patient.



Advantage of Granules

Pharmaceutical granules offer many advantages over other dosage forms such as tablets or capsules. These benefits include:

  • Enhanced solubility: Granules can be designed to increase the solubility of poorly soluble drugs, thereby improving absorption and bioavailability.
  • Dosage uniformity: The use of granules allows better control of dosage uniformity, ensuring consistent dosing for patients.
  • Taste masking: Granules can be coated or formulated to mask unpleasant tastes or odors associated with some drugs to improve patient compliance, especially in children and adolescents.
  • Formulation Flexibility: Granules provide flexibility in formulation design, allowing the inclusion of multiple active ingredients, controlled release formulations, or combination treatments.
  • Stability: Granules can improve the stability of some drugs by protecting them from degradation due to environmental factors such as humidity, light, or oxidation.
  • Ease of administration: The granules can be conveniently administered by mixing them with food or liquid, making it suitable for patients who have difficulty swallowing tablets or capsules.
  • Reduced risk of underdosing: Granules allow the full dose of drug to be released quickly, reducing the risk of underdosing, which may cause side effects or treatment failure.
  • Customization: Granules can be customized to specific patient groups such as: b. Pediatric or geriatric patients can adjust the size, flavor, or properties of the formulation to suit their needs.
  • Improved dissolution rate: Granules with optimized particle size distribution can have a higher dissolution rate, resulting in faster onset of action and better therapeutic results.
  • Ease of production: Granules can be produced using a variety of techniques such as extrusion, spheronization or spray drying, allowing for scalable and cost-effective production.

Overall, pharmaceutical granules offer versatility, precision, and improved performance compared to other dosage forms, making them an attractive option for drug delivery in a variety of therapeutic areas.


Disadvantages of Granules

Like other pharmaceutical formulations, pharmaceutical granules have disadvantages. Here are some potential pitfalls:

  • Limited solubility: Some pharmaceutical granules may have limited solubility, which may affect absorption and bioavailability in the body. This may cause the potency and effectiveness of the drug to vary.
  • Uniformity Issues: It can be difficult to achieve uniform granule size, shape and distribution of the active ingredient, especially in large-scale production. Inconsistent dosing and effects may occur.
  • Stability issues: Granules are more prone to disintegration and instability than other dosage forms such as tablets or capsules. Factors such as humidity, temperature, and light exposure can affect the stability of active ingredients.
  • Difficulty in handling: Granules can be more difficult to handle than other dosage forms, especially in terms of packaging, transportation and administration. Handling and processing may require special equipment and skills.
  • Palatability: Some granules have an unpleasant taste or texture that may reduce palatability for patients, especially children or those who have difficulty swallowing. This may affect patient compliance and medication taking.
  • Dosage Flexibility: Granules may not offer the same level of dosing flexibility as other dosage forms, such as tablets or liquid formulations. Dosage adjustments may require reformulation or changes in manufacturing.
  • Cost: The development and production of pharmaceutical granules can be expensive, especially if special equipment and processes are required. These costs can be passed on to consumers, making drugs more expensive.
  • 8. Regulatory Issues: Regulatory approval for pharmaceutical granules may require additional data and documentation compared to traditional dosage forms. This may increase the time and resources we spend developing and marketing our products.
  • Environmental Impact: The production of pharmaceutical granules can generate waste and pollute the environment. This is especially true if solvents or other chemicals are used. Proper disposal and environmental management are important aspects.
  • Overall, pharmaceutical granules offer several advantages, such as improved bioavailability and dosing flexibility, but there are challenges and drawbacks that must be carefully considered during product development and use.

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