As an essential formulation component for large-scale tablet manufacturing, the lubricant preserves tooling by reducing die-wall friction. Unfortunately, lubrication also often results in adverse effects on tablet characteristics, such as prolonged disintegration, slowed dissolution, and reduced mechanical strength. Therefore, the choice of lubricant and its optimal concentration in a tablet formulation is a critical decision in tablet formulation development to attain low die-wall friction while minimizing negative impact on other tablet properties. Three commercially available tablet lubricants, i.e., magnesium stearate, sodium stearyl fumerate, and stearic acid, were systematically investigated in both plastic and brittle matrices to elucidate their effects on reducing die-wall friction, tablet strength, tablet hardness, tablet friability, and tablet disintegration kinetics. Clear understanding of the lubrication efficiency of commonly used lubricants as well as their impact on tablet characteristics would help future tablet formulation efforts.
Pharmaceutical Materials Science and Engineering Laboratory, Department of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota, 9-127B Weaver-Densford Hall, 308 Harvard Street S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55455, United States