MUPS is a Multiple Unit Pellet System. They are composed of API layered pellets or starter cores, and matrix fillers.

If pellets are processed into tablets with suitable excipients, MUPS can be achieved. A type of tablet containing MUPS breaks down in the stomach into subunits (in this case individual layered pellets) [1]. It is therefore a special dosage form for solida that combines various properties and characteristics of tablets on the one hand, and capsules filled with pellets on the other hand. This results in several advantages.

First, MUPS are usually smaller than capsules, although they are filled with the same amount of pellets. This increases ease of ingestion and thus has a positive impact on customer’s compliance. MUPS can be divisible, which is impossible with capsules and partly possible with tablets. This allows greater flexibility in therapies. In contrast to coated tablets, drug safety is significantly increased as dose dumping, i.e., too rapid release of a sustained-release dosage form, is minimized. In the case of a tablet, damage to the sustained-release film may be sufficient to trigger dose dumping, whereas a single damaged pellet of an MUPS does not pose a major risk to the patient [3]. Furthermore, inter- and intraindividual variation related to absorption is significantly reduced, as the degree of gastric filling has a lesser impact on drug absorption. Single pellets (< 2 mm) can leave the stomach even with the pylorus closed, whereas monolithic dosage forms (for example, enteric coated tablets) cannot [1].

Find more information about MUPS:

Short information on MUPS – Multiple Unit Pellet System:

  • MUPS is an abbreviation for Multiple Unit Pellet Systems
  • tablets contain API layered pellets and fillers.
  • dose dumping is minimized as in case of pellet-filled capsules.
  • high customer patience and easy uptake
  • Reduction of inter- and intraindividual variation

Typically, pellets are used as starter beads for API layering. These can be inert pellets, such as MCC pellets (CELLETS®) or functional starter beads, such as tartaric acid pellets (TAP). In some cases, also sugar or wax-like pellets are found in MUPS formulations.

Microscope image of a MUPS (Multiple Unit Pellet System) tablet, partly opened

Microscope image of a MUPS tablet, partly opened (3). Copyright: Glatt GmbH.


[1] Opitz, Ulrike. Multipartikuläre Tabletten. Pharmazeutische Wissenschaft. (23) 136-141, 2005 (Link)

[2] Mangesh E. Bhad et al., Int. J. PharmTech Res. 2(1) 2010 (Link)

[3] Glatt GmbH. [Date: May 31st, 2013],