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2 yr old refusing antibiotics - help!

(27 Posts)
giddywithglee Wed 10-Jul-13 08:53:23

Has anyone got any magic tips for getting a very stubborn 2.5 yr old to take antibiotics when they don't want to??

After a couple of days of being poorly, yesterday DS1 had a massively high temp and was complaining of a sore neck. I panicked (obvs!) and took him to see doctor, apparently he has tonsillitis which may be bacterial (he has pus on his tonsils and the high temp is also apparently an indicator) so he's been prescribed antibiotics. They're orange flavoured but have quite a bitter aftertaste, and after the first dose he has decided he doesn't like them and so the battle has begun.

I have tried explaining to him 'remember we went to see the doctor? he told Mummy that you must take this medicine', I've tried 'this will make you feel better', I've tried 'you have no choice, you must take it', and I've tried putting it in a syringe and forcing him to take it (he went mad!). This morning I put them in his apple juice in the end, but it's taken him over an hour to drink and he's supposed to have them on an empty stomach. Argh!

I can't face this fight 4 times a day for the next week (poor DS2 who is only 11 weeks has been completely side-lined!) so I'm desperate for any advice!

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Wed 10-Jul-13 08:57:48

Can u not mix with honey or maple syrup to sweeten up a bit?

Daisytunes Wed 10-Jul-13 09:05:26

So you forced him and he went mad. But he still took it? So just force him. He cannot understand that he needs them to get better, but you do.

bamboobutton Wed 10-Jul-13 09:09:39

According to the nhs website bacterial tonsilitis will clear up on its own and antibiotics won't clear it up any faster.

I would prob stop trying to give it but I'm of the opinion that anti bs are prescribed to quickly and bugs are now becoming immune to it.

rowtunda Wed 10-Jul-13 09:14:12

We had the same issue with a very ill 21 month old, there was no way we were going to convince him to take them and even forcing him led to only about 1mm actually going in his mout. in the end in desperation we hid the ibuprofen & antibiotics in pure orange juice. He was so ill that was the only thing he was drinking but it did the job.

Lots of tooth bruising when he was better though!

rowtunda Wed 10-Jul-13 09:14:45

Sorry about typos!

magpieC Wed 10-Jul-13 09:15:13

We had this a few weeks ago. We ended up bribing with chocolate - small piece of choc, small squirt of medicine, more choc, more medicine etc.

It still took two of us to hold him down and get it in to start with but after a few days of bribery he did get better at taking it (although we found it was still a very messy process).

I found it easiest to squirt it in the side of his mouth and sometimes resorted to holding his nose to get his mouth open - and sometimes took advantage of the screaming....

rowtunda Wed 10-Jul-13 09:15:55

Also d

giddywithglee Wed 10-Jul-13 09:16:03

Daisytunes, I couldn't get it down his throat, but I think I might need to persevere!

Bamboobutton, the doc told me they don't normally prescribe antibiotics but he was concerned by the severity of DS1's symptoms, which is why he has prescribed in this case.

giddywithglee Wed 10-Jul-13 09:17:20

MagpieC, we've got workmen in the house this morning, am concerned they're going to call social services soon!

rowtunda Wed 10-Jul-13 09:17:25

Ahh bloody iPhones! Also don't worry about empty stomach and how long it takes to drink - the fact it gets into him is the most important bit!

Belmo Wed 10-Jul-13 09:17:25

I'm afraid I go with holding her and squirting it into her mouth with a syringe. Makes me feel like shit but medicine is non negotiable!

MousyMouse Wed 10-Jul-13 09:17:37

you can also ask gp to prescribe capsules instead.
you can break them open and mix the contents with nutella/jam. much easier imo.

giddywithglee Wed 10-Jul-13 09:19:06

thanks everyone, feel a lot better about being evil mummy forcing them on him now. will persevere and stock up on smarties.

curlew Wed 10-Jul-13 09:23:29

For most minor childhood illnesses I take the view that if they are feisty enough to fight and scream, they are feisty enough to fight the infection.

Otherwise, lots of chocolate.

TripTheLightFanjotastic Wed 10-Jul-13 09:28:04

Don't feel bad, it's for the best. When you do pin him down and squirt it in, try and aim for the back of the throat, bypassing the tongue as much as possible (obviously try not to choke him). Then massive cuddles, praise and chocolate buttons. It took about a day or so for my 2yo DS to get it. Don't bother trying to mask the taste, it never works!

RosinaCopper Wed 10-Jul-13 09:42:59

Chocolate here! I even said to my gp that I would be giving chocolate buttons to take the taste away (when she said the medicine didn't taste very nice) and she agreed that although it said empty stomach, it was better to get them in than not. The 4 x per day on an empty stomach or 2 hrs after eating is just not feasible with toddlers IMHO. Button first, then medicine, then buttons after. Probably 4 or 5 total each time.

When I had this with my eldest, who was keen on Charlie and Lola at the time, and had been playing a game on CBeebies about germs in Lola's throat, I made a chart with drawn on germs and after each dose of medicine we crossed one off. That helped a bit, too, because he could see where the end of the medicine course was and it gave a distraction for the aftertaste - along with chocolate! I can't rmember if he was as young as 2, though.

But I have done the pin down and force it in on occasion too - I'd just rather not, so if bribes work, I use them.

WitchOfEndor Wed 10-Jul-13 10:12:33

We had this with DS, the first antibiotic (flucloxacillin) was bitter and after a struggle leading to hysterics (and bottle got knocked and spilled) I phoned up the doctors and explained what was happening. The doctor gave me another type (erythromycin) which tasted much nicer and DS happily licked off the spoon.

The first one also needed to be 5ml 3 times a day and the second was half that so a lot easier to get in him. I probably would have persevered longer if I didn't remember my DF trying to force medicine down me when I was younger. It tasted vile and I ended up a sobbing mess because DF insisted I had to have the medicine. That memory has stayed with me for over 35 years!

SquidgersMummy Wed 10-Jul-13 10:21:32

Just a thought: my dd often has antibiotics with her eczema hmm The horrible watery pink stuff is grim and nothing will hide it. But last time we were on Co-amoxiclav and it tastes sherbity: she was happy to have it and it was fewer doses a day: it gave her the runs a bit but so be it. The cheap strep antibiotics are the ones they give out first and they are horrible. These more expensive ones treat both staff and strep infections - hence given for skin infections as it can be an infection due to either: but the staff drugs get rid of the bitter strep ones. I would argue that whilst you might end up on an antibiotic that is designed for other conditions it will still work and it will taste nicer and hence you will be able to finish the course properly. Not sure if my reasoning is wrong but worth a go??? There are lots and lots of strep and staff drugs - my GP said there are milder ones we can try next time that shouldn't give the runs and sore bottom.

Anyone else think this would work??

MsPickle Wed 10-Jul-13 11:16:33

Check and see whether you've got the sugar free version. PFB ds was prescribed antibiotics-our pharmacist laughed when I asked whether it was the sugar free saying he always gives the sugared (checking with GP first) as he thinks that saves lots of unnecessary stress. After all, as he pointed out, there's not much sugar going in from the dosage.

Good luck!

AnonYonimousBird Wed 10-Jul-13 11:20:39

Syringe when they aren't looking was all we managed.

Just shove it in before they notice, a bit brutal, but vital. We struggled one time to get DS to take Anti-b's, half was being spat out etc.

Anyway, 3 days later, we are in A&E and he has severe pneumonia (aged 15 months) and the doctor just said, whatever it takes, even if it feels mean you HAVE to get these things down him. So that was when we went with syringe which was easier because none got spilt and we had a biscuit or something at the ready for him to eat to distract him from spitting it out.

Needs must and all that.

giddywithglee Wed 10-Jul-13 11:45:49

I did it, and I held his nose to get him to swallow it! He is now talking about how brave he was having his horrible medicine, so fingers crossed the next dose will be a bit easier!

AnonYonimousBird Wed 10-Jul-13 12:10:54

Well done OP, where there's a will there's a way. <shouting so that OP's DS can hear me> WHAT A BRAVE BOY!!!!! wink. Hope you've turned the corner.

specialsubject Wed 10-Jul-13 13:50:51

please ignore any advice not to finish a course of antibiotics unless the advice comes from your GP.

good luck with whatever works.

recall Wed 10-Jul-13 13:54:21

Try mixing it with icing sugar, make it into a little ball, then flatten it on top of a fairy cake, put a smartie on top. They usually eat the icing first...

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