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A Serious Idea, With A Dull Name

Originally posted Aug 31, 2003
  (+5, -1)
(+5, -1)
  [vote for,

My 20 months old daughter is ill. She has a serious bacterial infection, called cellulitis, on roughly 40% of her face. She's in hospital for a few days, but she is improving rapidly.

Every single drug they give her either tastes so bad you wouldn't take it yourself, or she screams for a half hour while it goes in, intravenously.

There must be some way to make even antibiotics taste halfway decent. Modern medicine has made huge advances, but the geeks who formulate these drugs are apparently lacking in imagination or compassion.

To the idea: If it takes 10 years to get a drug to market then there is ample time to find a palatable flavour masking agent to bring some comfort to those unfortunate enough to need the medication, surely?

And, if they're formulated for kids then there can't be too great an impediment to making them in shapes that kids will eat. I tasted one of them, yesterday, to see what the fuss was about. HOLY SHIT, it tasted bad!

UnaBubba, Feb 21 2013


       I liked this observation from [bristolz], at the time.   

       //Okay, how about a two part medication, each separately tastes horrid to discourage children from administering it to themselves, but when mixed, viola! it tastes like Kraft Macaroni and Cheese or other child-friendly flavor.   

       Seriously, a kid's sense of taste is so acute that I think it is really, really hard to mask the flavor of the active medicinal ingredients. Even my burned-out adult taste buds can detect really tiny amounts of certain spices buried in a cauldron of soup. Seems like a very hard problem to solve. bristolz, Aug 31 2003//
UnaBubba, Feb 21 2013

       Since then it has occurred to me the antibiotics, if oral delivery is possible, could be delivered in microcapsules, suspended in a flavoured syrup.
UnaBubba, Feb 21 2013

       I honestly will get round to baking this one day, sort of. I'm about halfway there.
nineteenthly, Feb 21 2013

       Little man's nightly dose of amoxicillin is bubble-gum flavored.   

       I remember as a youngun eating half a bottle of flintstones vitamins because they were yummy and came in fun shapes.
RayfordSteele, Feb 21 2013

       //delivered in microcapsules// That's a pretty good idea. Like tiny chocolate chips within half melted ice cream - down the hatch.
AusCan531, Feb 21 2013

       OD risks would be a concern.
RayfordSteele, Feb 21 2013

       Simple, useful great idea [+]
piluso, Feb 21 2013

       Like they say, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. For the things that can't be masked by sugar, I would suggest putting them in soluble capsules.   

       I hope your child is better now!!
DrCurry, Feb 21 2013

       I used to take medication for what seemed to be ADH"D" as a child, before i began to see everything with inverted commas around it. I bit into that once and it was truly revolting and stayed with me all night.
nineteenthly, Feb 21 2013

       Point of clarification? Your daughter was 20 months old in 2003? And you have simply reposted the old/deleted Idea?   

       Ordinary aspirin tastes bad; that's why they put a coating on it. For medicines in general the coating doesn't have to be sugary; gelatins also work (and there may be other substances that can be used, as well). It just has to be some coating that blocks the sense of taste for the time it takes to swallow the pill.   

       I thought this was Widely Known To Exist, even if they haven't always implemented it everywhere. Which means the solution to the problem posed, is to get that particular medicine coated.
Vernon, Feb 21 2013

       So let's combine the microcapsules and [bristolz]'s 2-part concept. Have the capsules (that require stomach acid to disolve) lightly coated with a quick disolving bitter taste that can be easily neutralized. Is there a mild base that could be neutralized by the acid in orange juice that doesn't make enough of a fizzing display that kids would want to see it again and again?
scad mientist, Feb 21 2013

       //HOLY SHIT//
Reference to the Pope's poop?
xandram, Feb 21 2013

       what caught my attention here is: "Every single drug they give her either tastes so bad you wouldn't take it yourself, or she screams for a half hour while it goes in, intravenously."   

       Intravenously! Weirdly, I know exactly this phenomenon. As a kid I noticed that both cyclophosphamide and methotrexate induced a metallic and disinfectant-y tastes respectively. The solution was, as it usually is, cheese. Many of the kids on the ward, including me, would munch through all kinds of cheesy snacks. For whatever reason it overpowered the drugs.
bs0u0155, Feb 21 2013

       I deleted my entire account in 2009, [Vernon]. Last night I was discussing how some medicines look and taste bad and he mentioned this idea and asked I repost it, so I did.
UnaBubba, Feb 21 2013

       Microcapsules schmicrocapsules. Pretty much any medicine can be delivered in a gelatin capsule, which has no taste and dissolves quickly.   

       Of course, using gelatin capsules mean the IV needle would have to be a lot bigger.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 21 2013

       Getting little kids to swallow capsules is harder than getting cats to do so, [MB].   

       That none of the "brilliant" medical boffins has ever cared enough about people to actually create medications that deliver in the way I've suggested is testament to their pathological indifference to others, I suspect.
UnaBubba, Feb 22 2013

       Or it could be you are just way smarter than all of them.
sqeaketh the wheel, Feb 23 2013

       ^I'm voting for pathologicial indifference.
AusCan531, Feb 23 2013

       I'm hoping you won't overlook the suggestion [ bs0u0155] made about providing a simple and tactile supplement like sliced cheese to help make the medicine go down. I don't know how many times I've seen the aesthetes on this site turn up their nose at the very thought of American cheese, but for a simple, digestible, benign, and yet semi-nutritious and good-tasting mask for officious medications , a simple slice of Kraft American cheese would seem efficacious. If you wanted to spread a very thin layer of cream cheese to the slice and roll it like a cigar I am sure that it would be even more fun and delectable to ingest as the medicine goes down.
jurist, Feb 23 2013

       The question drug companies will ask is, "Is it going to help sell more product or increase profits?"   

       If not, it's not a justifiable expense.
whlanteigne, Feb 26 2013

       I actually think the central (and Cinderella) problem in non-preventive medicine is concordance. If anyone can point me in the direction of some links to deal with the issue, i would be most grateful. In the meantime, this looks like a big step in that direction to me.
nineteenthly, Feb 26 2013


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