Capsule Sizes

Written by Seth Cotterell
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Capsule sizes vary depending on the desired dosage and what they are filled with. I remember being sick once as a child and the doctor prescribed these pills that I was sure were meant for horses. They were huge. I had trouble even swallowing them since they were so big. I did get better though, and since then I have been curious about medications and supplements of all sorts.

Confusing Capsule Sizes

When I began to research the pharmaceutical industry, I discovered something very interesting. Capsule size is measured in a very surprising way. Counterintuitively, in the pharmaceutical world, the smaller the number, the larger the capsule. This means that a size 00 capsule is actually bigger than a size two capsule. A size three is even smaller than a size two. Let's look at a small capsule and a large one to compare the differences.

A very small capsule, like a size four, is intended for something that requires only a very small dosage. It is either a very powerful medication or perhaps a supplement that your body only needs in small amounts. A size four capsule contains only about 0.04 teaspoons, or about 1/25 tsp.

On the other hand, a very large capsule, say a size 000, holds six times more supplement than a size four. This obviously provides a higher dosage, but is intended for less powerful substances. This is for supplements your body requires in much higher amounts. A size 000 capsule is 0.25 teaspoons, or about ¼ tsp. You will need to be very familiar with your supplements and their recommended dosages before you start filling your own capsules for personal use or for distribution.


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