2006 年 32 巻 8 号 p. 842-848
The size and the shape of tablets and capsules may influence the taking of medicines and compliance in elderly patients may be negatively affected by physical disabilities and/or swallowing difficulties. In order to develop medicines that are easy for patients to grasp and swallow, we conducted a sensory test regarding the size and shape of tablets and capsule size, in which our subjects were elderly people (average age : 71.9) and students (average age 22.3). Eighteen white imitation tablets of different shapes (circular, oval, rectangular) and varying from 5.0-13.0 mm in size, and six different imitation capsules were prepared for the test and the subjects' feelings about them were determined through interviews. The subjects took the tablets in the pre-assigned order and evaluated them according to 3 levels concerning ease of grasping and ease of swallowing. Based on the overall results for the elderly subjects and students, the easy-to-grasp, easy-to-swallow size was determined to be 7-8 mm in diameter for circular tablets, 9 mm in the longer axis for oval tablets, 9-10 mm in the longer axis for rectangular tablets, and the No. 3 size for capsules. Thus, among prescription drugs available in Japan, easy-to-grasp, easy to swallow circular tablets account for 35% of the total, 16% of the total for oval tablets, 9% of the total for rectangular tablets, and 32% of the total for capsules. Our findings suggest that more effort should be put into the design of medications regarding their size and shape in order to improve patient compliance.