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Hard Gelatin Capsule

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Mar 11, 2024.

Excipient (pharmacologically inactive substance)

What is it?

Gelatin is an animal protein made by boiling the collagenous material from animal bones, hides, and skins. Pig and cattle bones are typically used to make gelatin. Gelatin has many uses, including use in cooking, industrial uses, cosmetics and photography.

In the pharmaceutical industry, gelatin is used primarily to make hard and soft gelatin capsules. Other uses include tablets, emulsions, suppositories and syrups. It has been used for over 125 years in the food industry.[1] Gelatin is generally recognized as safe by the FDA.[2]


  1. [1]Anon. Uses of Gelatin: Gelatin Innovations; 4/30/2009; Accessed 8/18/2011
  2. FDA’s SCOGS database; Gelatin, Report No. 58, 1979.; ID Code: 9000-70-8;; accessed August 18 2011.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.