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My 2 ½ year old daughter has come down with croup. She has been prescribed prednisolone which from previous experience is a bitter tasting and therefore difficult medicine to get children to take. Typically our twins take medicine easily but this is not the case with prednisolone.

I discussed this with the pharmacist who indicated the medicine could be "hidden" in juice etc. Unfortunately, the flavor of the prednisolone is overpowering the taste of the apple juice I mixed it with. She is slowly getting through it, but I hope someone might have a better idea.

How can I ensure my daughter takes her medication? Is there something I can hide it in that might cover its bitter flavor?

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You might try a stronger juice, something that's already somewhat bitter, like grapefruit or cranberry. – Karl Bielefeldt Feb 19 '14 at 18:31
up vote 9 down vote accepted

When my son has to take prednisolone I sandwich the dose between teaspoons of honey and graham crackers. It is supposed to be taken with food anyway, and I find that the honey + cracker makes a coating on his tongue so that he can't taste the medicine as much. You know what they say..."a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down..."

Honey is also good for cough suppression, by the way.

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Just passing along an idea for anyone having to use the worst tasting med ever. I cut a little piece of gummy candy in half (mine is Starkist ? gummy). Then split it again and pushed the pill inside. These gummys are soft enough that I could then squeeze the top and bottom around the pill and they stayed stuck. I drank it right down with water (and I'm going to chase it with hot tea just to make sure it melts well). Success! NO awful taste!

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Very innovative! A child might want to chew the gummy though. – anongoodnurse Oct 23 '15 at 16:30
An ingenious way, yet OP apparently has a liquid variety where this won't work. – Stephie Oct 24 '15 at 20:50
And from this came the expression "sugar coating" – MakorDal Apr 3 at 3:16

I can suggest this course of steps to you:

  1. Give your daughter something sweet just before taking a medicine - Something like chocolate would be an example option.

  2. Explain that if she takes the medicine fast, the medicine will be in her mouth for a shorter time and will not be so terrible.

  3. Immediately, after swallowing the medicine follow it with with juice to remove the taste.

  4. finally you give an extra portion of sweet candy you started with or something similar (Marshmallow)

Also, there are fewer taste receptors on the back of the tongue, so if you can use a syringe to administer the medications on the inner half of the tongue there will be less of any taste experience for the child.

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Typically the syringe option works without issue. This medicine tastes so bad she fights swallowing it even when we do as suggested. – ahsteele Feb 17 '14 at 22:02
Watch out with those juices! There are some medicines which should be taken with grapefruit juice (and other citrus juices, to a lesser degree) or milk. Google the juice and the drug before you combine them. – Dariusz Jun 11 '14 at 6:11

My son has severe asthma, the first time his pulmonologist prescribed prednisolone my son vomited it up due to the awful taste, this happened several times... We tried adding juice, even chocolate syrup and many suggestions found online, finally the pulmonologist switched and gave my son pulmicort. Well its been a few months and his asthma is bad again so of course the doctor wanted to do prednisolone again. This time I asked our pharmacists at CVS what to do to get past the awful taste, they put the name of the medication into the computer and the computer matched the medicine to specific flavorings they could add to it...Raspberry, Cherry, Watermelon, and Sour Apple. We went with Watermelon as well as refrigerated the prednisolone to help with the flavoring. Best $2.99 I have ever spent! He takes it no problem now! Loves the watermelon flavor!

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Tammy glad that adding flavoring to the prednisolone made a difference for your son. – ahsteele Apr 2 at 20:52

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