Ask Larry:

Your Question: In regards to your slow release T3 for hypothyroidism, is it the capsule shell that makes the T3 slow release or the actual powder contents themselves?

Larry’s Response: The slow release nature of the dosage form is a combination of the capsule shape and the cellulose used as a filler. The capsule begins to absorb fluid in the gut after it is swallowed. It swells a bit and the liquid continues to moisten the internal powder.

We experimented with a few doses when I first started compounding and saw that the capsule soon looks like a gummy and feels slimy and soft. The idea is that the jelly-like form holds the active ingredients, thyroid in this case, in a matrix that dissolves slowly, releasing the medicine over a longer time.

Some commercial slow release formulations use individually coated tiny BBs in the capsule. Those can be opened and mixed. Our compounded slow release capsule should not be opened before administering – and should be swallowed whole. Opening and mixing with food or a liquid (smoothie, shake, etc) basically destroys whatever slow releasing characteristic that might be present.