2018 Volume 44 Issue 4 Pages 172-179
Magnesium oxide tablets are commonly used as antacids or laxatives. They are mainly formulated for the elderly to relieve constipation. Although these tablets normally undergo rapid disintegration, moisture absorption causes an increase of the disintegration time. However, magnesium oxide tablets are sometimes dispensed in a one-dose package. In this study, we examined the effects of moisture absorption of a magnesium oxide tablet stored in rotor cassettes on formulation stability. The tablets were stored in rotor cassettes under 55％RH or 75％RH conditions for 7 days. These tablets were analyzed for weight, hardness, disintegration time, dissolution test, friability, and breakage after storage in rotor cassettes. Although the weight increased in a humidity-dependent manner, moisture absorption of the tablets significantly decreased when a desiccating agent was used. In contrast, the other tablet properties showed little difference. We further examined whether moisture absorption of the tablets stored in rotor cassettes caused deterioration in quality when stored in a one-dose package under the condition of 75％RH. Our results show that moisture absorption of the tablets enhanced hardness and delayed disintegration time. This delay in disintegration time of magnesium oxide tablets increases the risk of choking on a tablet and reduces the compliance of patients who have difficulty swallowing tablets. In conclusion, we demonstrated that moisture absorption affects the quality of magnesium oxide tablets while the preservation after one-dose packaging. It is important for pharmacists to carefully consider the effects of moisture absorption of hygroscopic tablets stored in rotor cassettes, when tablet packaging machines are used.