First 3D Printed Drug Approved by FDA

You’ll rarely see medication news on the pages of Medgadget, but a newly FDA approved drug has raised our eyebrows because of how it’s produced. Aprecia Pharmaceuticals has developed a way of producing individually dosed tablets that dissolve on contact with liquid. The specific FDA approval is for SPRITAM (levetiracetam) that’s used as a therapy for epileptics to help control partial onset seizures, myoclonic seizures, and primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures. The fascinating part is that each tablet is produced using a layering technique similar to now common 3D printing.

The drug in powder form is placed on a surface and a drop of “glue” that makes it stick together is placed on top. More drug dust is sprayed on top of the result and the process is repeated until the correct amount of drug is embedded within the tablet. Each tablet is extremely porous and breaks down once in contact with a liquid, so even kids and those having trouble swallowing can put one in the mouth, drink a cup of water, and not have any problems taking it down.


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