The first 3D-printed prescription pill has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Spritam levetiracetam is a new drug to control seizures brought on by epilepsy in both adults and children. It’s made by Aprecia Pharmaceuticals using “ZipDose” 3D printing technology to create a porous pill that quickly dissolves when taken with a small amount of liquid.
The technology allows Aprecia to tailor each individual’s dosage, up to 1,000mg in a single dose.
“By combining [3D printing] technology with a highly-prescribed epilepsy treatment, Spritam is designed to fill a need for patients who struggle with their current medication experience,” says Aprecia CEO Don Wetherhold.
Aprecia expects the 3D-printed Spritam to hit the market in the first quarter of 2016.
Patients with epilepsy would benefit from the easily dissolvable character of Spritam, says Marvin H. Rorick III, a neurologist at Riverhills Neuroscience in Cincinnati, Ohio.
“In my experience, patients and caregivers often have difficulty following a treatment regimen,” he says. “Whether they are dealing with a swallowing disorder or the daily struggle of getting a child to take his or her medication, adherence can be a challenge.”
Aprecia says it’s using proprietary 3D printing process to develop similar formulations of other drugs.
“This is the first in a line of central nervous system products Aprecia plans to introduce as part of our commitment to transform the way patients experience taking medication,” Wetherhold says.