You are currently viewing Osmotic Drug Delivery: What it Means and How it Works

Osmotic Drug Delivery: What it Means and How it Works

  • Post author:
  • Post category:Blog

osmotic drug deliveryOsmotic drug delivery is the controlled delivery of an oral drug through the use of osmotic pressure. Osmosis, as defined by Google dictionary, “is a process by which molecules of a solvent pass through a semipermeable membrane from a less concentrated solution into a more concentrated one, thus equalizing the concentrations on each side of the membrane.”

In the pharmaceutical industry, osmotic drug delivery is achieved by drilling one or more holes into the outer membrane of a tablet or capsule. Osmosis causes water to be absorbed through the semi-permeable membrane, resulting in osmotic pressure that then pushes the active drug out of the pill through the drilled hole(s).

In this sophisticated drug delivery system, pills and canisters can include multiple layers of different medications whose release can be “metered” using holes of varying size and number.

What Are the Benefits of Osmotic Drug Delivery?

There are many benefits to osmotically controlled oral drugs, which allow for full control over the timing and release of a medication once it enters the body. Some key benefits include:

  • Release rate is highly predictable
  • Ability to achieve a delivery rate of zero-order
  • Ability to delay drug delivery
  • Ability to pulse drug delivery
  • More consistent concentration of the drug in the blood

How is Osmotic Drug Delivery Achieved?

Trusted for its speed and high level of accuracy, laser drilling has become the method of choice for placing the necessary sub-millimeter apertures into tablets and capsules.

R.W. Hartnett manufactures high quality laser drilling machines for the pharmaceutical industry. With vision inspection, our accurate and efficient machines give you the confidence of knowing your osmotically controlled oral drugs are drilled to specification, every time.

Contact Us

To learn more about our laser drilling capabilities, feel free to give us a call at 215-969-9190, or email us at