It is my understanding that before long, like in the next year maybe, a federal law will require all kinds of documentation, testing and more paperwork doctors and patients taking "long acting" pain medication for noncancerous pain. In Washington state the powers to be got the jump on the deal and are implementing it before the federal agencies do. (I have some personal opinions here but will hold my tongue and be civil )
But I think Alcie's question was a good one. Many of us have been around the medication world for quite a while whether it's us that takes it or someone in our family. So I found a good descript
ion for these types of pills on Wikipedia. Here it is for those interested.
ChutzTime release technology, also known as sustained-release (SR), sustained-action (SA), extended-release (ER, XR, or XL), time-release or timed-release, controlled-release (CR), modified release (MR), or continuous-release (CR or Contin), is a mechanism used in pill tablets or capsules to dissolve slowly and release a drug over time. The advantages of sustained-release tablets or capsules are that they can often be taken less frequently than instant-release formulations of the same drug, and that they keep steadier levels of the drug in the bloodstream.
Today, most time-release drugs are formulated so that the active ingredient is embedded in a matrix of insoluble substance(s) (various: some acrylics, even chitin; these substances are often patented) such that the dissolving drug must find its way out through the holes in the matrix. Some drugs are enclosed in polymer-based tablets with a laser-drilled hole on one side and a porous membrane on the other side. Stomach acids push through the porous membrane, thereby pushing the drug out through the laser-drilled hole. In time, the entire drug dose releases into the system while the polymer container remains intact, to be later excreted through normal digestion.
In some SR formulations, the drug dissolves into the matrix, and the matrix physically swells to form a gel, allowing the drug to exit through the gel's outer surface.
Micro-encapsulation is also regarded as a more complete technology to produce complex dissolution profiles. Through coating an active pharmaceutical ingredient around an inert core, and layering it with insoluble substances to form a microsphere you are able to obtain more consistent and replicable dissolution rates in a convenient format you can mix and match with other instant release pharmaceutical ingredients in to any two piece gelatin capsule.
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Daily Donnybrook: Fibromyalgia, Insulin Dependent Diabetes. Ulcerative Colitis, Rare form of Dermatitis, Collapsed Disk, Osteoarthritis (especially in right hand and neck) and a couple of other adjunct agitations.
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