So you have these 'fizzing' tablets, that are to the best of my knowledge referred to as effervescent tablets. The wiki page provides some details, including that they are tablets which are designed to dissolve in water, and release carbon dioxide.

However, I haven't been able to find out what the benefit is of a normal orally taken tablet dispersed in water, versus an effervescent tablet?

For example, take acetylcycteine against thick mucus - it comes in various forms, including regular tablets and effervescent tablets as well.

  • Is it just to add some carbonic acid to the water to make it sparkling to make it taste better?
  • Is it a method to dissolve materials quicker by the generation of bubbles?
  • Is it to make the water more acidic by generating carbonic acid?
  • Is there a more pharmacological reason for the use of effervescent tablets?

effervescent tablet
Effervescent tablet. source: wikipedia

  • Please feel free to close this question if unsuitable for Health. Don't want to put more unanswerable material on your plates folks
    – AliceD
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 8:38
  • 2
    No worries. I think it's a good question.
    – Carey Gregory
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 17:11

1 Answer 1


The main reason why you'd want to prescribe effervescent tablets is when the person can't swallow tablets, or, the tablet is unpleasantly large such as some calcium tablets. Then one can use dispersible calcium tablets.

However, the reasons one manufacturer lists are:

Oral dosage forms are the most popular way of taking medication, despite having some disadvantages compared with other methods. One such disadvantage is the risk of slow absorption of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API), which can be overcome by administering the drug in liquid form and, therefore, possibly allowing the use of a lower dosage. However, because many APIs only show a limited level of stability in liquid form, effervescent tablets, which are dissolved in water before administration, have been formulated as an alternative dosage form

This also allows:

  • an opportunity for formulators to improve the taste;
  • a more gentle action on a patient's stomach;
  • marketing aspects (fizzy tablets may have more consumer appeal than traditional dosage forms).

However, it requires a more complex manufacturing process

Fundamentals of effervescents Effervescents consist of a soluble organic acid and an alkali metal carbonate salt, one of which is often the API. Carbon dioxide is formed if this mixture comes into contact with water. Typical examples of the acids and alkalis used include:

  • citric acid
  • tartaric acid
  • malic acid
  • fumaric acid
  • adipic acid
  • sodium bicarbonate
  • sodium carbonate
  • sodium sesquicarbonate
  • potassium bicarbonate
  • potassium carbonate


  • Many thanks for the answer. However, I still can't see any benefit? Any tablet can be dispersed, right? What does fizziness add to simply dissolving a tablet in water? The production process indeed seems hard as I read on wikipedia - why do it when it's not necessary?
    – AliceD
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 19:46
  • Because the drug is not stable in liquid over time. So, it's a way to instantly liquify the drug. Sure you can crush many drugs using motar and pestle but it won't be as fast or effective. Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 19:49
  • See how long it takes to dissolve a tablet of paracetamol vs using dispersible paracetamol. Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 19:51
  • 1
    How is in the link I provided :) Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 19:55
  • 1
    I'll go through that link then :) Gracias
    – AliceD
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 19:56

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