Spritam: This is the First FDA-Approved 3D-Printed Drug

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3D Printed Drug Spiritam by Aprecia
3D Printed Drug Spiritam by Aprecia

A new pill that can control epileptic seizures has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administrations, but that’s not the interesting part.  The drug also happens to be the first drug to be made from a 3D printer.

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The drug is called Spritam, and is made with ‘ZipDose’ a 3D printing technique created by the pharmaceutical company Aprecia.  So why print the drug at all?

According to the BBC:

“Being able to 3D print a tablet offers the potential to create bespoke drugs based on the specific needs of patients, rather than having a one product fits all approach”

and as 3DPrint.com noted, 3D Printing combines the “the ease of consumption associate with liquid medicines with the precision of dosage only available in tablets”

3D Printing could make for an easier pill to swallow

Spritam tablets contain 1,000 milligrams of Levetriacetam – a common epilepsy medication – but through 3D printing, the pill can be made super porous, and then dissolves as soon as it meets any liquid: i.e. on your tongue.  It basically melts in your mouth.

Aprecia is claiming they are the first and so far only Big Pharma company that produces 3D-Printed medicine on a commercial level.  This isn’t the first 3D-printable to be put inside us people: we’ve seen 3D printed organs, bones, and even surgical stents.  Can 3D Printing fundamentally change medicine?

Spritam will be available early 2016 by prescription.

[Aprecia via BBC News]

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5 COMMENTS

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