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Please help me - 8 year old wont take antibiotics

(38 Posts)
lizvic Sun 03-Dec-17 21:13:44


My child fainted at school, he has a raging temperature and tonsillitus.

He wont take medication. I asked GP for paracetomol suppositories, he said no, so I had to pay £40 for 10.

My son wont take his antibiotics - it take forever to take the smallest bit, then he has a drink and instead of swallowing, he spits it out.

Ive tried everything I can think of since Friday.

I just feel like crying.

Im going to have to spend another £40 tomorrow on the paracetomol too.

How on earth do I get him to swallow his medicine.

Please. can anyone help?


Fairylea Sun 03-Dec-17 21:17:31

I would tell him (not in a threatening way, just a factual way) that if he doesn’t take the antibiotics you will need to take him to a and e to have them give him a drip for them - because that is what will need to happen. I don’t think medical procedures should ever be used as a threat as ideally you want children to trust medics etc but at 8 I think you can explain this and explain how important taking the antibiotics are. I remember my mum doing something similar with me and I certainly took the antibiotics then!

Nottheduchessofcambridge Sun 03-Dec-17 21:19:09

Bribery? Threats? Mixing it in ice cream or yoghurt? It’s disgusting stuff. Perhaps tell him what will happen if he doesn’t take it, infection, hospital, needles.
How about a message from Santa asking him to take it?

Whydididothatfuckingthing Sun 03-Dec-17 21:19:17

Can you mix it in with a yogurt or something? My lo is 5 has asd, and I have to use a syringe and squirt it into his cheek whilst dh is holding him wrapped up in a towel, then clamp his mouth shut. not nice but needs must.
He then immediately gets a lolly.

SomeBananasAreStillGreen Sun 03-Dec-17 21:20:57

"Here are two small glasses of orange juice. Which one has medicine in it? Finish them both, then tell me which one had medicine in it, and if you are right, I will give you a lollipop."

This worked many times for Ds1 when he was about 4 years old.

The medicine was split equally between the two glasses, so he got the lollipop every time. When I confessed about this (years later), he laughed for ages.

I feel your pain, I know how hard this is flowers

strongandlong Sun 03-Dec-17 21:22:51

Mine was the same. I found it was easier to get her to take tablets (broken in half) than the (disgusting!) liquid. Lots of bribery needed too.

Do you have difflam spray? That helps make eating/drinking much less painful.

strongandlong Sun 03-Dec-17 21:24:41

And yes, she knew that she'd have to go into hospital if she didn't take them (they were prescribed after our gp looked at her throat and sent us straight to hospital).

123bananas Sun 03-Dec-17 21:27:06

He is 8, time for some straight talking. Tell him you know it tastes disgusting (most antibiotics do for tonsillitis) offer a sweet for straight afterwards. Tell him calmly the truth, if he won't take the medication he will have a needle put into his hand to insert a straw to give the antibiotics into the vein. Be honest with him that likely he will need to stay in hospital if that happens. Do not bribe with fancy gifts or big treats as there are so many doses to get through it will likely not work. Also see if the doctor can prescribe a smaller amount of a higher strength version of the same antibiotic.

madeyemoodysmum Sun 03-Dec-17 21:27:18

I always ask the gp
for tablets as mine hate the liquids They seem to manage them fine.

Plus you could crush them to a fine powder and put in food.

lizvic Sun 03-Dec-17 21:32:16

Thank you everyone.

I did try the you'll have to go to hospital and have a drip, and he said yes please!

I have tried, hubby even held him down and squirted it and tried to get him to swallow. he didnt, it went all over them and my floor.

It took me half an hour to get him to take half the amount and it still was spat out.

Im at my wits end.

Thank you anyway xx

shhhfastasleep Sun 03-Dec-17 21:32:49

In milk with a curly straw and possibly a squirt of chocolate syrup. And some straight talking. Still tastes foul.

larrygrylls Sun 03-Dec-17 21:37:22

Just get in the car to go to A&E. If he changes his mind, give him the antibiotics. If not he prob is in so much pain that iv would be kinder.

strongandlong Sun 03-Dec-17 21:37:30

This sounds very familiar. You have my sympathy. It's very stressful. I'd definitely recommend trying tablets if you can. She still resisted, but nowhere near as much.

Good luck. Hope he's feeling better soon.

shhhfastasleep Sun 03-Dec-17 21:42:21

Find a clip on YouTube of someone having an IV put in.
Sadly I've had it several times for a health problem. It's horrid.

SomeBananasAreStillGreen Sun 03-Dec-17 21:42:35

It seems that you and your family are having a dreadful time with this. It's so hard, isn't it?

Do try the "can you tell which one has medicine? " approach. My ds was just as reluctant as yours, and it was a nightmare. Giving him the choice, so that he lifted the glass to his mouth by himself, was so empowering for him.

I'm a play worker, and have some experience of working with badly behaved and generally disaffected children. My own Ds1 has been my hardest challenge yet, but he does take medicine these days.

If you can turn it into some kind of game that puts your child back in control, this will work.

Good luck! !!

minipie Sun 03-Dec-17 21:44:47

Tablets! My mum asked the GP for tablets for me as I hated theliquid so much. My 5 year old can swallow small to medium size pills.

lizvic Sun 03-Dec-17 21:48:28

Thank you so much.

You are all so kind.

Ill try each one of these ideas tomorrow and let you know.

He thinks Im stupid by spitting it out, we are wasting it, but Ive told him Ill get some more tomorrow!

im still really upset at the GP - £40 is a lot of money for 10 suppositories.


FairyPenguin Sun 03-Dec-17 21:52:38

Try getting him to pinch his nose while taking it and while drinking water straight after before letting go of nose.

Also try pouring the medicine into a small cup and letting him drink it himself so he's in control.

minipie Sun 03-Dec-17 22:27:57

Again, for the paracetamol I would try pills. Ask the pharmacist how to get the right dose for him with pills. The technique I have taught DD is - she opens mouth wide, I put the pill on back of tongue, she takes huge gulp of water and swallows it down. She doesn't taste the pill this way

Ginfiend Sun 03-Dec-17 22:34:43

Are you in the uk OP?
Can you buy (non foul tasting) calpol? Can you buy paracetamol tablets? Crush them and put them in food?

There’s a knack to squirting them. If you do it right, the reflex to swallow happens and they can’t spit it out. It’s a pain though

lizvic Mon 04-Dec-17 13:43:19


The GP gave us tablets.

He did say you can crush them, but I read they are gastro resistant?

The little git wont swallow it, so I will have to crush them, if i can.


JollyGiraffe Mon 04-Dec-17 13:44:22

What is the antibiotic OP?

I can check if they can be crushed.

lizvic Mon 04-Dec-17 13:50:16


That's very kind of you JollyGiraffe!

They are Erythomycin Gastro Reistant Tablets.

Thank you xx

JollyGiraffe Mon 04-Dec-17 14:00:48

Ideally they should not be crushed, because as you say they are gastro resistant. Erythromycin is broken down by stomach acid and so may not be as effective. However, that has to be weighed against the fact he won't take it at all otherwise...

You might find some helpful information here:

Zeelove Mon 04-Dec-17 14:02:24

He is 8, not 2.

You tell him he's taking them. The end

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