Spoonful of Sugar ­ New Solutions for Children & Medicine

Any parent knows – getting kids to take their medicine can be a struggle. If you’ve fought this fight before, you know what you’re up against: they may not be able to swallow pills, or they just can’t stand that taste! And there are other challenges to medicating children and infants, too, like sensitivities or allergies to certain ingredients, and those little patients with stomach issues that simply can’t keep medicine down.

There is, however, a solution available through pharmaceutical compounding.

Compounding is the art and science of preparing customized medications, where pharmacists make by hand all the medicines that doctors prescribe.  This is particularly effective for children, because pharmacists can change the flavor and delivery method for each child, making administration easier. In some cases, a pharmacist will have the parents bring in their kids and ask them to choose favorite among dozens of flavors. They might even let the children put in the flavoring themselves and shake it up.  Making the child part of the process, like this, gives them more ownership of their medicine, further increasing the chances that they’ll want to take it.

Another key benefit to compounding comes with changing the dosage form of a medicine. It can be in a capsule, but for those who have trouble swallowing pills, it can easily be made into a liquid.  Medicines can also be made into flavored lollipops, gummies, popsicles, or rapid-dissolve tablets that melt on the tongue.  Many medicines can even be compounded into a special skin cream that can be rubbed into the wrists or back of the knees. This cream, known as a transdermal base, can deliver the medicine right through the skin into the bloodstream, and the child will get the benefit within 15 to 20 minutes.

What matters most, at the end of the day, is that our children are getting the medication they need, in the proper amounts and at specific time intervals.  When we can achieve this without any tears, that’s one for the “win” column. So if your child needs medicine, and you know to expect resistance, you might ask your doctor: “Is this a situation where compounding could help?”

Blogger Bio: Chris Simmons is a pharmacist and serves as Vice President of Creative Development at Professional Compounding Centers of America (PCCA). He has worked in pharmaceutical compounding for nearly 20 years and has been on staff at PCCA for more than a decade, providing educational and consultative support to compounding pharmacists throughout the U.S., Canada and Australia.  PCCA has a membership of more than 3,900 independent community pharmacists, and provides them with chemical ingredients, equipment, devices, training and education, among other resources. To find a compounding pharmacy near you, go to www.findacompounder.com. Find out more here.