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 flavored medicine. Medicine doesn’t have to taste bad.
ADULTS AND CHILDREN
A prime advantage of compounding is its ability to customize medication. What’s the easiest way to customize it? Flavor! Compounding pharmacists have access to many flavors and flavor 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 flavors 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 flavored medication. As people age or battle a chronic illness, taste preferences can change. Often, sweet flavors can become unbearable, or bitter flavors may cause nausea. In these instances, your compounding pharmacist can alter or mask certain flavors in order to make medicine more palatable – without changing the strength or effectiveness of the medicine itself. When reflavoring 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 flavor – or no flavor at all – compounded medications may be of benefit to you.
Cats, dogs, exotic pets and even zoo animals also are prime candidates for flavored 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-flavor a medication to fit the tastes and preferences of any kinds of animal. There are beef, cheese, chicken and liver flavors for dogs; fish for cats. Horses prefer alfalfa, cherry, apple, carrot and molasses. Even birds, rodents and reptiles have flavor 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 flavor and appearance can take struggle out of medicating your pets. Click here for more information on veterinary compounding.
Do you have a flavoring challenge that could be solved through compounding? Ask your prescriber or compounding pharmacist about custom flavoring.
UNIQUE MEDICATION DELIVERY FOR YOUR UNIQUE NEEDS
Compounding enables prescribers and pharmacists to meet the special needs of patients. One of its most important benefits is to those patients who have difficulties with commercially available medication. With the prescriber’s authorization, pharmacists can custom-prepare medications in a variety of unique dosage forms, including:
- Oral liquids
- Troches or lollipops
- Topical preparations
- Eye and ear drops
- Nasal sprays
- Sterile injections
THE RESULT? A WAY TO TAKE MEDICINE THAT HELPS INCREASE PATIENT COMPLIANCE.
Medication can be compounded into customized capsules, especially in cases where an alternate strength is required or to omit potential allergens or irritants, such as dyes, preservatives, or gluten. To lessen the number of doses to be taken, multiple medications often can be combined into a single dosage or made into sustained-release capsules. Vegetarian capsules made from cellulose are available for patients who do not want to take a gelatin capsule.
Many medications can be compounded as oral liquids for those patients who have difficulty swallowing tablets and capsules. Some patients may have problems tolerating the taste of a commercially available liquid, but a compounding pharmacist can make a pleasant-tasting, custom-flavored oral solution or suspension which can be administered easily and accurately. Some medications may be available as effervescent powders, which are mixed with water to make a fizzy drink.
TROCHES & LOLLIPOPS
Troches and lollipops are used to keep drugs in the mouth when local action is needed there. Troches also may be placed under the tongue and allowed to dissolve, which allows the medication to enter the bloodstream quickly and easily. Some troches can be chewed and swallowed by a patient who cannot or will not take a capsule or tablet. These dosage forms can be enhanced with natural sweeteners and pleasant-tasting flavors, making them ideal for geriatric and pediatric patients.
Topical methods of delivery also are widely used because they allow the absorption of medicine directly through the skin, and may help avoid potential side effects such as stomach upset or drowsiness. Topical medications often are prescribed for pain management, inflammation and nausea/vomiting. They are easy to use and are effective delivering the medication as needed. Topical medication forms include:
- Creams and lotions
- Stick applicators, such as lip balms
Patients who cannot take medications orally are ideal candidates for compounded suppositories. Available in various shapes depending on the route of administration, suppositories can be given rectally, vaginally or urethrally. By melting or dissolving into the body cavity, they allow the medication to pass quickly into the bloodstream. They can be used for hormone replacement therapy (HRT), to fight nausea, or to treat local conditions such as hemorrhoids, infections, or inflammation.
A compounding pharmacist working closely with you and your physician can prepare medication in a dosage form that has been customized to your particular needs.
*all information provided through PCCA via pccarx.com
ALTERNATIVE MEDICATION FORMS
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