Capsule Size Guide
Capsule Size Overview
Before filling your own capsules, it's important to decide on the correct capsule size for your formulation- it may be the key to preventing you from wasting time and money.
At Vivion, we carry standard capsule sizes of 000, 00, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, and they are compatible with most capsule filling machines. The largest sizes of capsules are designated by the lower numbers, and the smaller ones are named after higher numbers; so for example, the largest capsule size we provide is 000, and the smallest size is 5. If needed, we are also able to provide you with elongated capsule sizes in 00E and 0E.
To help you visualize the differences in capsule sizing, we have created a responsive chart that displays each capsule size available in Vivion's stock. Simply click on one of the capsules in the top section, and the chart will highlight that capsule size's specifications in the table below.
Capsule Size Chart
|Empty Capsule Size|
|Empty Capsule Weight (Gelatin)|
|Average Weight (mg)||158||143||123||107||99||78||61||48||38||28|
|Empty Capsule Weight (Vegetarian)|
|Average Weight (mg)||163||152||136||107||105||79||63||50||40||30|
|Empty Capsule Volume Capacity (ml)|
|Empty Capsule Weight Capacity by Formulation Density (mg)|
|Empty Capsule Overall Closed Length|
|Empty Capsule Individual Lengths (cap)|
|Empty Capsule Individual Lengths (body)|
|Empty Capsule External Diameter|
|Empty Capsule Quantity Per Case|
|Capsules per box||50,000||65,000||75,000||90,000||100,000||125,000||175,000||200,000||250,000||350,000|
Here are some important definitions of terms used in the chart above and in capsule sizing in general:
● Tolerance: The allowed limits or variations in the capsules’ dimensions.
● Individual Lengths: The separate measurements of the capsule body and cap in millimeters.
● Overall Closed Length: The entire length of the closed capsule in millimeters.
● Volume Capacity: The approximate volume inside of the capsule in milliliters.
● Weight Capacity by Formulation: The approximate weight capacity of the capsule based on formula’s bulk density in milligrams.
Capsule Sizing Variables
Knowing the characteristics of your formulation, the type of capsule material and size you want to use, and the required dosage of your active ingredient is central in choosing the perfect capsule for your product.
Some capsules made of different materials that Vivion supplies are only stocked in certain sizes, which can factor into making a choice of what kind of capsule you want for your product. The table below displays the sizing options for each type of capsule that we carry.
The bulk density of your formula directly affects the volume and dose of your active ingredient in each capsule. Depending on the bulk density, you may have to use a smaller or larger capsule than you originally intended.
It is important to know who is going to be consuming your capsule product. How easily a capsule can be swallowed also influences what size of capsule your product needs. Capsule sizes such as #000, #00, and #0 are ideal for adults and large animals, while capsules as small as #4 or #5 may be best for children and smaller animals.
How much API, or active pharmaceutical ingredient, needs to be in each capsule also should be considered when choosing a capsule size. The ingredient’s dose might be too large for the capsule size that you’ve been considering, so you might have to fit the powder in one larger capsule or spread the dose over multiple one smaller capsules.
Gelatin and HPMC capsules allow you more options in choosing a size. However, if the preservative-free, tapioca-based pullulan capsules appeal more to you, you have the choice of the three most commonly used sizes in manufacturing: #00, #0, and #1.
To help you see the differences between capsule sizes in scale, we made the chart below to compare the different sizes of capsules measured in millimeters and inches:
Most Commonly Used Capsule Size
Sizes #0 and #00 are the most commonly used capsule sizes due to their volume and being easy for people to swallow. Here’s how their sizes compare to some common coins:
The Numbers Behind Capsule Sizes
Although it seems counterintuitive, smaller capsule sizes are indicated by higher numbers. #000 is the largest capsule size that Vivion offers, while #5 is the smallest.
Text columns with images
If you still aren’t sure which capsule size is right for your production, Vivion has a team of capsule experts waiting to support you. Contact one of our capsule experts today.
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