The concept of dragee it can be used in different ways. At a general level, the term refers to a portion very small of something that is swallowed.
Dragees can be confectionery of different colors. These are sweets whose origins go back several centuries, although their features they vary according to the region and the time.
It is possible to find dragees made with sugar, starch, jelly and other ingredients. Many times these sweets have a hard layer that surrounds a tender substance inside. The layer and the filling can even be of different flavors.
In the field of pharmacy, a lozenge is a dose of a drug. Is about tablets with one or more active ingredients that have a therapeutic activity. The usual thing is that the dragee has a rounded shape and that it is coated with some type of substance with a pleasant taste and texture.
The dragees have a specific size for their adequate consumption. Its elaboration supposes the compression and agglomeration of particles with a constant volume, making the tablet have a lot of storage capacity.
It should be noted that the lozenges are solid form drugs. The coating not only improves its flavor, but also provides protection to the active ingredient, which is protected from the environment. This layer even prevents the disintegration of the medicine from taking place in the mouth and minimizes gastrointestinal irritation.
Among the disadvantages are its cost, the difficulties of some people for swallowing and the incompatibility of certain drugs with a coating.
It is important to note that there are several terms that in everyday speech are often confused with dragee, either due to lack of information to distinguish them or due to lack of attention. We are talking about the following: tablets, tablets, pills, capsules and pills. Of course, in the field of translation of medical products, each of them must be treated according to their technical definition, according to which they present clear differences.
One of the reasons that leads people outside the field of medicine to confuse these words is that many Spanish dictionaries consider them synonyms, or at least they do not give us enough differences between them to know how to distinguish them when we have them in front of us in a pharmacy. For example, we can start by mentioning that the translators recommend not using the term tablet in scientific language, but to reserve it for everyday speech.
Before seeing the meaning of tablet, we should talk about tablets, a mixture of various substances and the active principle itself (the drug) that result in a product with a well-defined and stable shape over time. Its name derives from the fact that to manufacture them it is necessary to carry out a “compression” process, with a specific machine.
This brings us to the word tablet, which is used in everyday speech as a synonym for compressed. Its name is simply the diminutive of «pasta«. There are lozenges to suck, which are solid and have at least one active ingredient, generally accompanied by ingredients that give it a sweet taste to make it more pleasant to eat, while slowly dissolving in the mouth. Another way of referring to tablets is by the term tablets.
Precisely, dragees are compressed with substances whose odors, tastes or colors must be masked; for this, layers of some translucent and resinous substance such as lacquer.
Finally we have the capsules (inert wrappers easy to open to access the contents, which is loose) and the pills (solid, small and spherical drugs that must be swallowed whole).