Making medication taste better
One of the greatest challenges in prescription medication is a simple fact: some patients just don’t like taking medicine. From a child who can’t stand the taste of a cough syrup to a cat who absolutely refuses to take an antibiotic, taking medicine rarely is a pleasurable experience.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Each patient is unique, with certain likes and dislikes. Others have difficulty swallowing a pill, and might respond better if the pill were compounded into a liquid suspension instead. A distinctive solution to these issues is a flavoured medicine. Medicine doesn’t have to taste bad.
Adults & Children
A prime advantage of compounding is its ability to customize medication. What’s the easiest way to customize it? Flavour! Compounding pharmacists have access to many flavours and flavour combinations which can enhance the taste and color of a medication to make it easier to swallow.
A child who has difficulty taking a prescription because of the taste is a prime candidate. He or she won’t mind taking medication that tastes like bubblegum, watermelon, or even chocolate. Most PCCA flavours are sugar-free and some are even dye-free, which benefits patients who are sensitive or allergic. And working closely with a physician, your compounding pharmacist can even change the form of the medication. What if a child’s medicine came in the form of a lollipop or a gummy treat?
Many adults also may benefit from flavoured medication. As people age or battle a chronic illness, taste preferences can change. Often, sweet flavours can become unbearable, or bitter flavours may cause nausea. In these instances, your compounding pharmacist can alter or mask certain flavours in order to make medicine more palatable – without changing the strength or effectiveness of the medicine itself. When reflavouring antibiotics, for instance, careful consideration is given to the measurement of pH in order to maintain the medicine’s stability. Whether you prefer a distinct flavour – or no flavour at all – compounded medications may be of benefit to you.
Cats, dogs, exotic pets and even zoo animals also are prime candidates for flavoured medication. Cats don’t like pills, but they do like fish. Dogs may not appreciate a squirt of traditional medication into their mouths, but they’ll gladly take it if it tastes like chicken.
Working closely with a pet owner and a veterinarian, a compounding pharmacist can custom-flavour a medication to fit the tastes and preferences of any kinds of animal. There are beef, cheese, chicken and liver flavours for dogs; fish for cats. Horses prefer alfalfa, cherry, apple, carrot and molasses. Even birds, rodents and reptiles have flavour preferences that can be met by a compounding pharmacist.
Like humans, some animals may require alternate medication forms such as pastes, custards, or traditional pet biscuits and treats. Cats are notorious for eating right around a pill disguised in food, but the right combination of flavour and appearance can take struggle out of medicating your pets. Click here for more information on veterinary compounding.
Do you have a flavouring challenge that could be solved through compounding? Ask your prescriber or compounding pharmacist about custom flavouring.