The government just OK'ed a 3D-printed pill for the first time

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This week, Aprecia Pharmaceuticals announced that the FDA has, for the first time, approved a 3D-printed drug: Specifically, Aprecia's epilepsy medicine Spritam levetiracetam.


The company explained in a press release:

"SPRITAM utilizes Aprecia’s proprietary ZipDose® Technology platform, a groundbreaking advance that uses three-dimensional printing (3DP) to produce a porous formulation that rapidly disintegrates with a sip of liquid."


The innovation allows the company to deliver more medicine per dose, which could make it easier for some patients to use the drug. According to Forbes, the 3D printing binds the layers of drug powder so tightly, that its easier to take. The Aprecia website adds that this means it can better control the taste of the drug. And the BBC points out that 3D printing can be used to customize medicine in a new way, offering personalized pills to people who need them.

3D printing has been revolutionizing medicine in other ways — 3D-printed parts have been used to reconstruct a crash victim's face, and as models for surgeons facing difficult operations.

Almost beats space pizza .

Danielle Wiener-Bronner is a news reporter.

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