A pill binder is an agent used in pill manufacturing to promote the uniform structure of the active ingredient and make it easier to compress and prevent breaking of the pill. Not only that but it also prevents the pill from damaging the pill machine and helps the ingredients to not easily be dissolved when you ingest the pill.  There are different types of pill binders that focus mainly on including magnesium stearate because it adds a flow characteristic to your pill and improves consistency.

Brief introduction of magnesium stearate (common pill binder)

Since this is the main ingredient in most active of the pill binder, it’s best we know exactly what it is and how it’s made and produced.  

Magnesium stearate is made out of a simple salt made out of, a saturated fat called stearatic acid and the mineral magnesium.  The coating of a pill is made out of magnesium stearate and it is used to delay the breakdown and absorption of medication so that when they reach the bowel, that’s where the active ingredients (Medicine) will be absorbed and also gives it lubricating properties as well as a shiny look to the tablet.

Magnesium stearate is completely safe to consume but it’s very important not to add too much magnesium stearate.  The powder should only be added if the room is present with a lot of humidity which makes the pill absorb water.

Generally, the safe amount of magnesium stearate to add to your mixture is only 4% and at most 10%. If you add too much, it can have a laxative effect.

Different types of pill binders

  • Acacia
  • Tragacanth
  • Gelatin
  • Starch paste
  • Pregelantinized starch
  • Alginic Acid
  • Cellulose
  • gumes

Cornstarch as a tablet binder

This is the most used tablet binder in many applications as starch is seen to have good compressibility properties on its side.  The starch is obtained in plat tubers and seed endosperm where it is found as granules which mainly contains amylopectin molecules and linear amylase molecules. It is the most used type of binder because of its sticking capability which surpasses other binders.

The wet granulation technique.  They enhance both flow and compressibility and can be used as binders in Direct Compression as well as Wet Granulation. High purity cornstarch  allow simplified processing as they swell in cold water and therefore reduce time/costs compared with traditional starch
paste preparation.

The typical most used type of starch is the Starch 1500 partially pregelanatized Maize starch as starch paste.

Tablet binder

Ready mix tablet binder

Firmapress is a great all-in-one binding agent powder that is compatible with 99% of all of the mixtures Pill binder agent. It has all the characteristics most of the pills nowadays use including:

  • Magnesium stearate- prime lubricant, reduces friction, prevents sticking machine
  • Magnesium cellulose – adds bulk
  • Silica Di-Oxide- Absorbs liquid with ease
  • Di calcium phosphate- promotes uniform structure

Homemade pill binder

What you will need:

Magnesium stearate: is produced by the reaction of sodium sterate with magnesium salts or by treating magnesium oxide with stearic acid. Some nutritional supplements specify that the sodium stearate used in manufacturing magnesium stearate is produced from vegetable-derived stearic acid and can be obtained from Deodorants in the form of white powder.

But you can stop wasting time and but the ingredients here:

Magnesium stearate

Colored pill binder colors

  • red
  • Blue
  • Light blue
  • Yellow
  • Orange
  • Orange cream
  • Green
  • Pink
  • Purple
  • White

How to filter pill binder?

Crush the pills, add water. The fillers will generally expand and turn the aqueous solution into a gel-like mess. Add ethanol or methanol this will "dehydrate" the gel making it easier to filter out. You could repeat this process with the remaining solid to maximize recovery. Then dry down the aqueous/alcoholic solution and re-dissolve in the appropriate solvent. Bear in mind this will include anything in the pills that are soluble in water and/or alcohol so you may need to further purify the active component.

How to use gum Arabic as a pill binder?

Once extracting the Arabic gum from the acacia tree, the gum will further more need to be dehydrated by first adding it in water and crystalizing the mixture. The pure substance will the need to be crushed and grinded for a short period of time before it turns into a fine powder and it helps to add to add 1% of sodium or a salt that contains sodium to make the gum more effective as a pill binder.

An example of a pill which acabic could use as a binder: Pill a 102- is a pill that is used to treat individuals with depressant and works as an antidepressant

Pill filler machines are great for compressing your active ingredients and pill binders together into one pill and it helps to have your own Pill compressor so you can experiment different powders and fillers.