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To Wonder Why They Cant Make Kids Medicine a tiny bit nicer?

(47 Posts)
MadameOvary Sun 17-Feb-13 19:55:35

DD has strep throat. AFTER being in hospital for viral-induced wheeze and trying to get her to take Prednisolone (which made her gag and vomit) I am now having to inflict penicillin on her. I have phone the hospital for advice and their attitude is "She has to have it" quite rightly, I get that, but they seems to think the "by any means necessary" route works.

I know for a fact that physically pinning DD down and forcing her to take it will not work as she will just vomit it back up, For whatever reason. Which is what has just happened, and I'll have some bruises to remind me.

The only two doses out of 7 attemots have been when she is half asleep.I have quickly followed with distractipn and ibuprofen and averted any dramas.

The rest of the time its pointless. She is determined and very strong and right now I am so fucked off with the whole thing I have had to go away while I stop shaking.

I have the patience. I would talk to DD all night if it would help. I would take any amount of bruises if she actually swallowed the fucking stuff and kept it down. She will not.

I have tried hiding it in food and drink, tried bribes, tried fucking role-play. Ice cream worked once but there was lots going and she hasnt much of an appetite anyway.

I am doubly pissed off because she actually ate something today and now she has thrown it back up again.

She will take Nurofen. She takes Cetirizine. She even takes Abidec!!! And she would probably take this stuff as well if it wasn't dayglo fucking orange with an equally rank smell and taste!!!

Even making it clear/colourless would help. But no, let's signpost the horrible medicine by making it glow in the fucking dark !!!

Sorry for rant, I can't be mad at her, she is four, so I am venting on here.
I understand this is AIBU, so if you're going to give me a pasting, could you please add some tips on how you managed to give reluctant DC medicine???

MadameOvary Tue 19-Feb-13 12:18:40

She is five in April valium

prettybird Tue 19-Feb-13 12:11:09

I still remember the disgusting antibiotic I had to take for recurrent ear infections when I was 6 or 7 - I am 51 now!

It was bright red (may have been orange) and was so horrible that it made the milk that I was given afterwards to try to wash the flavour away taste disgusting hmm

I am currently taking amoxicillin for a chest infection. Nice convenient easy-to-swallow capsulesgrin. Hate taking antibiotics and resisted going to the GP for 5 weeks about my crackly cough

valiumredhead Tue 19-Feb-13 12:04:41

How old is she OP?

MadameOvary Tue 19-Feb-13 11:58:01

Oh FFS. It wasn't amoxycillin. It was clarythromicin (sp?) and it's even more disgusting than the other stuff! angry
Back to the drawing board. Going to have a look at the Squirrel Tales website now.

2gorgeousboys Tue 19-Feb-13 07:49:57

DS2 was taken in to hospital a couple of years ago (he was 5 at the time) and the antibiotic prescribed by the on call Doctor made him violently sick. I was fighting to get the next dose in to him when the Consultant came round. He took one look at me holding a screaming DS down while trying to administer the medicine and checked what had been prescribed. The Junior Doctor that had been on call was then told by the consultant in no uncertain terms not to prescribe that particular medicine to children on his ward because it tasted horrible grin. DS2 got a new medicine and the consultant made the Junior Doctor taste the medicine to see how nasty it actually was.

I have no advice but you have my sympathy Madame and I hope DD feels better soon.

littlefishexpat Tue 19-Feb-13 07:34:55

There is no need for children's medicine to taste terrible. In the States pharmacies can add flavour shots to the liquid. They have several different ones to choose from; cherry, grape, bubble gum etc. I don't understand why this advancement hasn't made it across the ocean yet. Fine if the NHS doesn't want to pay for it, but why can't chemists have it as an option for an extra fee?

BeCool Mon 18-Feb-13 23:42:50

I sympathise. One of my earliest memories is battling with my parents as they tried to get me to take antibiotics. Highly traumatic all round.

MadameOvary Mon 18-Feb-13 15:19:29

Thanks everyone, finally got to see doc today, and have been given prescription for amoxycillin BUT none in stock at local chemists so have to wait till tomorrow which is complete PITA as hoped to start DD on it today.
At least Ive got some ibuprofen into her in the meantime, and it looks like this medicine will be colourless, so that's something!

Sirzy Mon 18-Feb-13 08:45:41

For pred to make it easier to take -

Make - small glass of blackcurrant squash, pull 3ml into a syringe and squirt it over the tablets in a small medicine pot. Leave to dissolve and then pull the mix into a syringe. Means its a relatively small amount and tastes a bit better

crashdoll Mon 18-Feb-13 08:00:05

Prednisolone in anything other than tablet form is grim, so I sympathise with your DD.

I second the icing sugar idea!

Tailtwister Mon 18-Feb-13 07:46:03

You have my sympathy OP, it's so stressful when you can't get them to take the medicine they need.

The only way I've been able to do it is with a syringe and even then it gets spat out. At least if they bat it away you don't lose the whole lot like with a spoon. I don't know why they can't improve the taste, but guess the active ingredients probably come through even when masked by flavours. Plus, they're probably restricted by regulations for sugar content and additives as well as interactions with the active ingredients.

Panzee Mon 18-Feb-13 07:42:30

Much of it is because they were tested hundreds of years ago I those rank combinations of flavours and ingredients. If they change the flavour it counts as a new medicine and they have to go back through the testing process, and all the time and expense that takes up.

thereonthestair Mon 18-Feb-13 07:29:14

I also can't believe the people who like the banana flavour. It's the one med I can't get into ds. Predisolone we syringe into the back of his mouth, he doesn't like it but.... It's banana amoxicillin he won't have in any disguise. He prefers day glo orange and with a syringe he will take it.

lougle Mon 18-Feb-13 07:25:39

my DD1 has SN and a fear of needles and tubes. I have to confess that if I HAVE to get a medicine into her and she refuses, I just say 'needles and tubes'.

I don't feel bad about it because it's true and that's worse than a nasty taste.

takeaway2 Mon 18-Feb-13 07:18:23

My DS who is 5 today (!!!) had to take daily prednisolone for a few months. They were the dissolvable ones. Never knew they were that bad because he used to just drink them down. Good luck anyway. He's now on something stronger once a week and we mix that with yoghurt. It's fine. Prior to this he used to scream and shout and throw up.

takeaway2 Mon 18-Feb-13 07:18:14

My DS who is 5 today (!!!) had to take daily prednisolone for a few months. They were the dissolvable ones. Never knew they were that bad because he used to just drink them down. Good luck anyway. He's now on something stronger once a week and we mix that with yoghurt. It's fine. Prior to this he used to scream and shout and throw up.

AvoidTheTrees Mon 18-Feb-13 04:32:37

The real problem is that the drug itself tastes vile and there is little that can be done to disguise the taste - drugs aren't deliberately made to taste awful; sweeteners and flavours are added to mask the taste, but they can only do so much.

Amoxicillin tends to be the best of the penicillins
Phenoxymethylpenicillin is pretty awful and needs to be taken on an empty stomach so shouldn't be given with snacks - a sweet drink is ok.
Flucloxacillin is bloody awful, but is the most effective anti-biotic for skin infections, impetigo etc and again needs to be taken on an empty stomach.

ripsishere Mon 18-Feb-13 02:01:22

Why isn' the UK receptive to suppositories? My DD had some ABX a couple of weeks ago. She is almost 12 and had tonsillitis. She was given the revolting banana flavor stuff.
I had specifically asked for capsules, but the Dr decided she wouldn't cope.
I clearly remember her being given arse entry antibiotics when we lived in Oman.

LivingInAPinkBauble Sun 17-Feb-13 23:38:17

FFS * have!

LivingInAPinkBauble Sun 17-Feb-13 23:37:21

Had constant ear infections as a child and vividly remember all the medicines! I loved the 'banana medicine' but there was an aniseed flavoured one that made me gag. Also hated orange calpol. Remember my DB trying to take the horrible one instead of me as he loved aniseed!

No real suggestions, we used to have a teaspoon of jam after. Could you do it as a game where you 'swallow medicine' (something liquid from a spoon) too?? You ave my sympathies, hope she feels better soon.

ImperfectPirouette Sun 17-Feb-13 23:29:59


Was it soluble prednisolone? I got given that once as an adult because it was all A&E had available & it was absolutely FOUL. I mixed it with squash & had to hold my nose to get it down, gagging throughout. Made even harder because the wee small of the friend I was staying with was very upset that I had Such Nasty Medicine... At 4 could she maybe cope with the tablets? They are very wee, the 5mg ones & the enteric coated ones taste of sugar, basically.

I think a lot of the official reason for the disgusting taste of medications is to reduce the risk of overdose. Am pretty sure the fact they've no real motivation to make it taste nicer has a lot to do with it too though!

Cannot believe people like Banana Medicine. I had it an awful lot as a child (all the chest infections all the time) & routinely used to weep over the foulness of the taste. I used to get raisins to take the taste away. It didn't work. Even now I sometimes get the remembered taste sneak up on me. Blech.

Have to say I find it particularly harsh that my antiemetic (domperidone) makes me gag. Just having it in my mouth, even under my tongue, produces a foul & lingering taste: I end up not taking it unless things are really REALLY bad & then trying to chuck it down my throat...

My mother used to have to chase me round the house & then sit on me to pin me down in order to administer eyedrops. Even as a toddler I felt bad for her as I knew it was upsetting for her but I absolutely couldn't stand the drops. Still can't bear things near my eyes now sad

Don't have any tips to add to those from other people, I'm afraid, but I do hope your daughter's better soon. Might it help to explain if she doesn't take the medicine she'll end up in hospital & they'll have to give IV antibiotics? That increased my medication compliance from being a tiny. It wasn't a threat or making the hospital into some kind of monsterthing, it was an honest explanation of what would happen if I didn't take the medication I needed to get better. It helped me to understand why it was so important I took The Disgusting Medicine[s] & actually gave me some sense of agency, which ill children often feel deprived of.

chocolatespiders Sun 17-Feb-13 22:18:15

I always get strange looks when asking for Calpol- not the sugar free one please smile

Startail Sun 17-Feb-13 22:16:21

My GP would find me something else as standard penicillin was banana flavoured and bananas are the one thing on the planet I truly cannot eat.

Not that any of his alternatives were nice and I was delighted when I learnt to swallow pills.

I think the basic problem is that penicillin is secreted by a fungi and it tastes of mould. If you accidentally suck an adult tablet it is vile.

The medicine makers try to cover it up with strong flavours and they don't seem to succeed!

Pictureperfect Sun 17-Feb-13 22:04:41

The advice from parents

Wrigglebum Sun 17-Feb-13 22:04:22

It's because people are so utterly paranoid about sugar so they're all sugar free now. I got the sugar free calpol at first until I tasted it, then quickly moved on to the regular one with sugar. Why not give people a choice? If you have to use chocolate/icing sugar/ice cream to get it down them surely it defeats the point!

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