administering bad tasting medicine

crystal01May 20, 2005

A young mother with a very sick baby needs advice on how to administer medicine that is so bitter tasting that the child chokes on it (see her story below).


My baby is still sick. She's had diarrhea for 28 days now, and has been running a temperature for 4 days ... I got her into the Dr. on Monday.

They had me collect several stool samples, and drive them to a lab. The lab called today and asked for more stool specimen! So we did that again today.... put the saran wrap in her diaper and the whole bit. The poor child! The Dr. called this evening and told us she has "C-Diff", which is a nasty bowel infection that is highly contagious (spread from hand to mouth if you don't have good hand washing after toileting), but that she suspected

her's was caused from the antibiotics she was on in April, and that the C-Diff was caused by an overgrowth of bacteria in the bowel. There are only 2 medications used to treat this condition. She's on one (started tonight..... sort of...) that only 2/3rds of patients respond to, the pharmacist told us. Well, we tried for over an hour to get her to take the medicine, and I believe we only got about 1ml into her, when she's

supposed to have 3ml 4x/day!!! It is the most bitter tasting stuff I have ever tasted! I tried mixing it with jello water, applesauce, ice cream, yogurt, cereal, juice, and pedialyte! She screamed and screamed and pushed the

cups/bottles/spoons away from her mouth. She gagged on it, and threw up too! The pharmacist said he couldn't flavor it because it wouldn't mix in with it well. So, I don't know what I am going to do about this! We even

tried forcing it down her throat with a syringe, and she choked on it (and that is when she vomited it back up, actually heaving it up and was terrible!) She kept coughing and coughing from choking on it too!

She then cried for what seemed like an hour (really it was more like 15 minutes!), and I felt like the most horrible mommy on earth! :-(

Do you have any suggestions on how to make this medication dosing more uneventful and less traumatic for both of us??? She's been sick for over a month now... I need for her to get better! Thanks for any ideas! BTW,

she is still eating stage 2 foods, so I can't put the liquid medicine into any solid foods yet. :-(

Many, many, many, thanks to everyone! Even though I do not know you personally, you each hold a special place in my heart for your persistence and willingness to pray for my family through this last year and a half.

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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How old is your little one. Are you positive there is nothing else that will help? Are you watching her for dehydration? As you well know if this does not get under control, she could end up in the hospital with IV's. Are you using distilled water in her drinking water etc. Have you researched this out on line in searching? I can't imagine a Dr allowing this to go on for a month. I truly have you in my prayers for finding a medicine to help out. When my son had a problem similiar to this, the Dr put him on jello, cottage cheese, bananas, and Coke syrup and distilled water. No milk, no vitiams no nothing, but then it was not an infection. Have you asked for a second opinion?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2005 at 7:46PM
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The baby just turned one. She was a premie and mom had a difficult pregnancy. There are many other medical issues, the baby may have developmental problems...

    Bookmark   May 24, 2005 at 2:08PM
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I would try using a syringe and putting just a cc or so of medicine at a time in at the side of the mouth between the cheeck and the teeth. That way she couldn't spit as much out. She'd be less likely to gag.

I've tried mixing medicine with other things. It hasn't worked. I think it's just another way to prolong the torture. If the child decides not to drink more than a swallow, you don't know how much got in them.

I have held my children down and force fed medication if I couldn't do it another way.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 4:43PM
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If it's an antibiotic, tell pediatrician that she can't keep it down, and you'd like a shot. They should have no problem with it.

The only other option is a suppository.

The tricks for making medicine go down work when they are not as ill as this child sounds.

If doc refuses a shot, find another pediatricin, IMO.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2005 at 8:59AM
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You all have missed the MOST obvious and best answer to Crystal's problem. I had the same experience and then I found a product called FLAVORx that makes medicine into any flavor your child likes. It REALLY works. I found it at Walgreens and have been using it for several months. I have not had one problem giving the kids their medicine which is a real blessing because my middle child has a seizure problem and is on Depakene (which tastes horrible) but flavored in banana she takes it like a champ. Go as quickly as you can to any pharmacy (they all have this product I think) and get it as quickly as possible. This way your life and your sick child's will be that much better. FLAVORx mixes with all medicines so the pharmacist should not have a problem with it whether it is an oil based or water based liquid or a pill or capsule that needs to be turned into a liquid. DON'T WAIT GET IT NOW AND MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2005 at 10:36PM
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I tried to get some of the flavor enhancing stuff at Kroger a few years ago. They told me the doctor had to write a prescription for it. Check with your pharmacy first.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2005 at 3:26PM
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No!!! Flavorx does not mix with ALL medications. Not all pills can be crushed and some are adversely affected when mixed in liquids before swallowing. PLEASE, check with a pharmacist before crushing any pills or capsules, or before mixing any medications (including liquids) with other things before swallowing. The stability and efficacy of drugs can be altered by pH differences when mixing them. Also, never mix them up with a liquid and then let them sit unused for any length of time as this can also change the stability and efficacy. Flavorx is a wonderful product when used appropriately, but always check with your pharmacist first.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 2:19AM
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The last post is correct, I work for FLAVORx and we have carefully tested all medications to make sure they are stable with each medication and that pH is not effected. The reason for this is that we want the end flavored medication to be efficacious and safe. We have done extensive stability and compatability tests and our formulary (recipe book) clearly states what flavors are safe to use with each medication as well as any medication that has an interaction or an effect on stability or efficaciousness has a BIG "DO NOT USE" next to that flavor. Our compounding hot line will tell you if a medication can or can not be made into a suspension. Most medications for children already come in a liquid form that can be flavored so compounding is not usually necessary but once in a while it is. So we have taken safety as our first concern and the person that left the last post is 100% right a patient should always check with the pharmacist first. FLAVORx has flavored over 40 million prescriptions over the last decade and has never had an incidence of an adverse reaction or a case of a medication not working, or even an allergy since all FLAVORx flavors are non allergenic.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2007 at 10:32PM
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MY son has had to take some awful medications in his life, and what I found that was most effective, was to quit using the local grocery store pharmacies, and to be sure you're using an actual compounding pharmacy. (Even Walmart isn't compounding very complex meds).

We have had meds made into creams to rub on and absorb verses swallowing (VERY EFFECTIVE!) and we've had many compounded into different versions to get them to work. I found the most effective flavoring for small babies was marshmellow, which is so cloying it tends to knock out some of the bitterness. Not all pharmacies have this flavor though (I used to carry it to the pharmacy we used out of state as well as the recipe for compounding with it).

Many meds are made with mint flavor, which babies hate. It's pretty standard because, like marshmellow, it is strong enough to block some bitter flavors. When my pharmacist and I started in our relationship :) She really made an effort to try to find ways to work with us and get the meds down the baby. A syringe (not with a needle, but a blunt point that you can get at a pharmacy) is helpful in getting small amounts of the meds in at a time. We did have some compounded at extra stregnth just because it's easier to give less than more. This also isn't possible with everything, but it's a good worst case scenario if necessary.

So is your pharmacy really compounding? Or are they pouring from a bottle? Compounding is more expensive, but worth in in the case of necessary meds and small babies.

By the way, for the poster who was upset that the diarreah lasted a son had it for over a year without diagnosis. Sometimes they can't get to an answer in a day or two unfortunately.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2007 at 7:00PM
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According to what I find on the web, therea re several meds used to treat this condition. Vancomyin is one and can be given by injection.
Tell her to call the Dr. back. Long standing C-Diff can cause intestinal ulcers and the toxins it creates are what are making her feel ill.
The Dr. needs to get on this ASAP...
Meanwhile giving her yogurt with active cultures and/or acidolpholis milk won't hurt and might do a world of good.
Linda C

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 11:50AM
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