What are Granules/mini tabs?
Granules may sometimes be called mini-tablets as there is no generally agreed term to describe very small tablets.
For anyone struggling to swallow solid tablets, granules or mini-tablets can be a useful option. As given away by the name they just very tiny tablets. Due to their size however it means that they are often supplied in single dose sachets where all granules need to be taken to receive the full dose.
Most medicines which are taken in the form of granules should be placed on the tongue and washed down with water without chewing. The granules should be swallowed whole and not chewed or crushed.
Some granules can be safely added to foods such as yoghurt or mousse, but this needs to be checked on the patient leaflet which comes with the medicine. Granules formulated for children are often designed to be taken with a small amount of soft food. The granules should be sprinkled or stirred into the food or a small drink. This should then be swallowed without chewing.
Some medicines taken as granules may be designed to release the drug slowly over a long period of time; other medicines are formulated to avoid digestion in the stomach, where the acid may break down the medicine before it has time to work. This is why granules should always be swallowed whole and not crushed (unless the patient leaflet states otherwise).
Some medicines supplied as capsules actually contain granules within the outer shell and again if a recommendation is made to open a capsule and sprinkle the ingredients into food or onto the tongue, it is usual safest not to crush the granules as they may be individually coated.
Because granules are so small, some granule medicines can be given through an enteral tube, but this should always be checked in the patient leaflet or with a health professional.