The future of technology is here, and now the first 3D printed pill is FDA approved, set to change the stage of modern medicine. The 3D-making process implies creating an item in a layer by layer system. While most uses imply polymers, drugs will be carefully designed through beneficial chemical compounds.
Developed by Aprecia Pharmaceuticals, the pill dubbed Spritam (levetiracetam) will be the first 3D printed pill to hit the market in the first quarter of 2016 to control seizures in patients suffering from epilepsy. The astounding compound will have several customization features at a few button pushes and software adjustments.
According to the drug’s developer, the new technology will allow for one pill to contain as much as 1,000 milligrams per tablet. It’s much stronger than the average content, as the complex layer by layer constitution will allow for more concentrated doses.
Along with the higher content, the company’s ZipDose manufacturing will also help make the medication much easier to swallow in patients who have difficulties with the process. That is an unfortunate condition found in those suffering from epilepsy, for which the table is intended.
The tablet will be porous and able to dissolve rapidly with just one sip of water, which will also be a great improvement for children, who often detest taking large pills. There will be no difference in the process from other drugs.
It’s set to make life easier for epileptic patients and the perks are not stopping there.
The biggest benefit of 3D printing of medications is the much needed advantage of easy adjustments in a pill’s concentration. With just a few numbers modified in the software, doctors will be able to prescribe just the right amount needed for each and every patient individually, effectively ridding themselves of the general “one fits all” type of treatment.
According to Dr. Mohamed Albed Alhnan, who teaches pharmaceutics at University of Central Lancashire, the innovative way of developing drugs will help speed up the transportation processes and required doses. For the last 50 years, medicine has been produced in factories and then shipped to hospitals.
With the 3D technology, the drugs will be much closer to the patients and will allow doctors or medical institutions to adjust the configuration of the pill, possibly within the actual hospital. And, in medicine, sooner is always better.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several other uses of 3D technology in medicine, such as prosthetics and other medical devices, and now allowing the world of pharmaceutics to come up with various types of uses that will be beneficial for patients worldwide.
Image source: phgfoundation.org