Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications, experience, or professional qualifications of anyone posting on Mumsnet Talk and cannot be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you have any serious medical concerns about your child, we would urge you to consult your GP.

At my wits end, 12 yr old with chest infection won't take antibiotic

(21 Posts)
JuliaFlyte Sat 29-Dec-12 10:58:11

My 2 boys have had flu all over Christmas, ds1 got it last Sat and is now on the mend, but ds2 only started on Christmas Eve. I took him to the GP yesterday as his breathing was painful and he couldn't swallow. He has mild asthma and had been using a ventolin inhaler. Anyway he has a chest infection and GP prescribed Augmentin Duo.

To cut a long and tedious story short, he won't take it as he can't swallow it. He can swallow Calpol, so I think it's an anxiety issue. He worked himself up into such a frenzy yesterday that when he eventually managed to take some yesterday he immediately vomited. I have tried every strategy I can think of to get him to try again, but he is the most stubborn child that ever walked the earth. He woke up this morning with pain in his chest and is moaning about how dreadful he feels. I have tried to make him see that he needs to help himself by taking the AB. I think he knows that he needs to take it but just can't. He says the chalky texture makes him vomit. I can't mix it with yogurt or similar as he won't eat anything like that.

I feel slightly better having typed this, but I could still scream with frustration!

duchesse Sat 29-Dec-12 11:09:17

Is he a socially conscious 12 yo? Because you could try explaining to him about antibiotic resistance and how him not finishing his course could potentially lead to more antibiotic resistant bugs which could end up being more dangerous for everyone. That might help him overcome his stubbornness.

Then try to find something, anything to get him to swallow the damned things. Spoonful of something nice straight after (lemon curd, jam?) Involve him in the process of finding out what works for him. The main problem at the moment is that he doesn't want to take them- that's making swallowing the medicine loads harder (for both of you!!)

Sirzy Sat 29-Dec-12 11:28:41

At 12 I would go for the "if you don't take it you will end up in hospital on a drip" approach.

Would he swallow tablets instead?

I think I would probably stress how if he doesn't take the medicine he could end up seriously ill in hospital and the pain of being stuck with needles injecting the medication.

Might be worth asking if a dr could give pills instead?

JuliaFlyte Sat 29-Dec-12 11:52:35

Thanks all. He says he can't think of anything that would take the taste away.

I mentioned that he may end up in hospital, now he is stressing out about that.

He can't swallow tablets <bangs head off brick wall>

What about using a syringe so it can go strait to back of the mouth ? Mixing with honey/syrup?

purplewithred Sat 29-Dec-12 12:00:26

why can't he swallow tablets? or he WONT swallow tablets? TBH sounds pretty immature for a 12 year old.

Maybe a different strategy to avoid the frenzy - just stop talking about it completely, be very matter of fact, if he moans about feeling poorly just say 'hmm, really' in a slightly disinterested tone. Remind him it's time to take his antibiotics and leave them and a spoon somewhere he can do it himself. And keep a covert eye on him.

twilight81 Sat 29-Dec-12 14:06:42

I don't think being immature has anything to do with it... Nor do i think its particuarly helpful to the op to say this! I know grown adults that won't/can't swallow tablets!!!
Don't know of any solutions myself, but hope you find a way to get them into him soon x

Longdistance Sat 29-Dec-12 14:11:57

When I give my dd's medicine, if it tastes funny I'll give them a piece of chocolate, or a sweet to take the taste away.

herewegoloopyloo Sat 29-Dec-12 14:13:27

Plenty of people struggle with tablets. Can you contact your GP (or Out of hours) and ask them to prescribe the syrup/liquid version? If not, then is a capsule or a tablet? If capsule, break it open and put the contents in something (anything) he will eat - ketchup, a sandwich, choc mousse. If tablet, crush it and do the the same. This is not something to be recommended, by the way, (not all drugs are meant to be crushed for reasons of absorption) but will do until you can contact GP to get the antibiotic in liquid form.
Good luck

Mu1berryBush Sat 29-Dec-12 14:16:15

My mum can't swallow tablets. I'm on anti biotics now and I am not as bad but I had to cut them in half to take them. That helps.

herewegoloopyloo Sat 29-Dec-12 14:17:25

Just realised that I have assumed that it IS a tablet not a liquid. If liquid, your best bet may be a strong tasting fizzy drink and bribery with whatever appropriate, if simple common sense/feeling unwell wont do it. Does he like mints or liquorice - they take away the taste of most things?

HecateQueenofWitches Sat 29-Dec-12 14:20:01

Contact gp and see if there's an alternative.

click here looks like it does come in liquid form

At the end of the day, he has to take it somehow. I am battling chest infection atm. On strong ABs and massive dose of steroids. Breathless when at rest. Can't walk up the stairs without gasping for breath and shaking. Face now tingling either from steroids or gasping, don't know which.

He does not want to end up like that! I may yet have to go into hospital. Tell him if he thinks it's bad now - it can get worse and trust me he does NOT want that!

Just contact OOT right now and ask for the liquid.

At 12 years of age (and assuming no SN) he is old enough to understand that he has to take the meds or it WILL get worse.

Sirzy Sat 29-Dec-12 14:21:38

From the description of the texture I would say it was the liquid as thats what it was like when DS had when he had that earlier this year.

HecateQueenofWitches Sat 29-Dec-12 14:22:06

oh. re reading, it seems it might actually be the liquid he's got.

Phone OOH and see what liquids you can add it to. OJ, water, pop, etc.

It may be that he will indeed have to go into hospital if he cannot take it at all and he is getting worse.

JuliaFlyte Sat 29-Dec-12 19:11:11

Thank you everyone for your lovely replies. He managed to take a dose, I think seeing me reduced to tears of frustration woke him up a bit. I'm hoping that when he starts feeling better he will make the connection and see that it is worthwhile.

He is prone to anxiety and stress, and I guess that is worse when you are feeling rotten and are being pressurized to do something you don't want to do. I know that I need to work on coping strategies with him for occasions like this.

Hecate I hope you feel better very soon, my aunt has dreadful asthma and I know how hard it is to live with chest problems. Steroids are magic but the side effects are horrid.

I have to get another dose into him soon, but I had a couple of hours out of the house, and feel like a new woman (nothing like being stuck in all over Christmas to bring on the cabin fever) Fingers crossed!

Mention to him the word 'suppositories' DS soon took the medicine at the thought of me having to stick my finger up his bum!!

Nosleeptillgodknowswhen Sat 29-Dec-12 19:15:49

We've had to add syrup to amoxycillin to get the 2 yr old to take it (only problem is that then they have to have 2 spoonfuls not just one). The GP also suggested tropical squash (neat). Worth a try?

Pendipidy Sat 29-Dec-12 19:18:09

I can not swallow any tablets but tiny ones. I have liquid antibiotic and it does taste chalk y and disgusting! The best thing i found to take it with is milk. Mix it in x

Skiffen Sat 29-Dec-12 19:20:29

Squirty cream? Ice cream? Sorbet? Brandy butter? Custard? Rice pudding & jam? Angel delight? There's got to somethng he could take it with?

If he's not improving and not taking medsthen he will have to be seen by ooh for a different preparation or ivs.

MegGriffin Sun 30-Dec-12 09:35:09

What about a bribe, eg if you take the whole dose you can have a treat eg cinema trip, favourite comic, £10 note? I feel your pain as have been there,although with a younger child and had to force it in her mouth with a syringe. It was v upsetting at the time but she was very unwell with a chest infection. Good luck.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now