Most capsule shells are made of gelatin. Gelatin itself is a water-soluble protein extracted from collagen, which can be digested and absorbed by human proteolytic enzymes. It is harmless to the human body. It dissolves easily in hot water and warm gastric juices. The capsule shell made of gelatin dissolves rapidly in gastric juice to release the contents. Do capsules have to be added with warm or hot water to help release the drug?
First of all, we should notice that the amount of water for taking the medicine is not large, and it has little effect on the temperature in the digestive tract. No matter taking medicine with cold water or hot water, the capsules are in an environment of about 37 ℃ most of the time. Although the capsule shell looks difficult to dissolve, it actually dissolves fast enough at body temperature. Moreover, the drug in the capsule is not compressed like a tablet, but a loose powder or small granule. Once the capsule shell is destroyed, the content inside can be released quickly. Qualified ordinary capsules should be completely dissolved within 15min of shaking in 37°C water.
On the contrary, taking the medicine in too hot water may bring some disadvantages. Many times, the medicine is put into capsules to cover up the bad taste of the medicine, and if the capsules are eaten with too hot water, the capsules will be destroyed in advance, and the taste will be very bad. Also, in hot water, the capsules become soft and sticky, and if you don't drink enough water, they may stick to the esophagus. Not only that, in the case of enteric-coated capsules, hot water may destroy the ability of the capsules to resist gastric juices, preventing the supposedly protected drugs from passing through the stomach and reaching the intestines.
Therefore, when taking capsules, you can take them with both cold and warm water. Rather than water temperature, it is more important to pay attention to the amount of water. Many people only drink a mouthful of water when taking medicine, or simply dry their throat. In fact, they should drink more water to ensure that the medicine reaches the stomach smoothly, and it can also reduce the stimulation of certain medicines to the esophagus.