The term pellet has been used by several industries to describe a range of clusters produced from different and varied raw materials. Many industries have been making use of pelletization techniques since the 20th century, however pharmaceutical industry has been showing exquisite interest in this technology in the later phase owing to the rise in the demand of sustained release preparations. Pellets for pharmaceuticals of pharma pellets are defined as semi-spherical or spherical, free slowing solid units. On account of their numerous advantages, pellets have garnered substantial aid and attention in the production of both modified as well as immediate release dosage form. The commercial pellets are formulated with a polymer film coating in order to obtain a controlled release effect. Presently, the palletization technologies are getting more intense as they focus on an effective pathway for the manufacture of oral drug delivery systems. The credit goes to the fact that pellets give many technological, biopharmaceutical, as well as therapeutic benefits over the traditional and conventional oral dosage forms.
Pellets developed through the palletization technique results in better flow, appearance and mixing properties and thereby preventing development of excess dust particles and reducing the segregation. It helps in eliminating detrimental properties and enhances the chemical and physical properties of the fine powders. Pharma pellets are generated via several techniques such as layering, freeze palletization, extrusion or spheronization, spray congealing, cryopelletization, spray drying and compression. Out of all of these techniques, extrusion or spheronization is the most commonly used technique owing to its superior efficacy and simple yet rapid processing. Some of the advantages of pharma pellets are – enhanced safety and efficiency of the active ingredient, decreased handling hazards and user-friendly transport, lessened hygroscopicity, little abrasion, no crystallization, uniform size with tapered distribution, higher drug loading capacity, reduce drug accumulation, pellets disperse freely, etc. Also, pellets render reduced variations in gastric emptying rate and intestinal transit time and thus lessen inter and intra subject variability.