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?

  • 2
    You might try a stronger juice, something that's already somewhat bitter, like grapefruit or cranberry. Feb 19, 2014 at 18:31
  • Mom used to make orange juice laced with honey as a medicine-delivery vector for me. I'm addicted to orange juice since I was a little kid.
    – T. Sar
    Jan 4, 2017 at 17:23
  • My daughter is 17 months and has croup yet again <=( She threw up both times we tried to give it to her today (worse the second time) I'm gonna try giving my daughter Mberry prior to giving her the Prednisone tomorrow. Hopefully it will work!!
    – Sal M.
    Mar 27, 2018 at 2:16

10 Answers 10


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.


I know I am late to this discussion but really wanted to pass this tip along. I has worked for anyone I have told that has tried it and a nurse on a pediatric ward of a hospital. Follow with peanut butter, takes the taste away immediately.


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!

  • Tammy glad that adding flavoring to the prednisolone made a difference for your son.
    – ahsteele
    Apr 2, 2016 at 20:52
  • Tammy how much flavoring did you add to the prednisolone? Have 3 year old grandson that is wasting more than he is taking... Feb 1, 2017 at 11:14
  • @JayneNiccumHolbert - the pharmacy mixes the flavoring in. Oct 16, 2017 at 16:22

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!

  • 1
    Very innovative! A child might want to chew the gummy though. Oct 23, 2015 at 16:30
  • 1
    An ingenious way, yet OP apparently has a liquid variety where this won't work.
    – Stephie
    Oct 24, 2015 at 20:50
  • And from this came the expression "sugar coating"
    – MakorDal
    Apr 3, 2016 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.

  • 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, 2014 at 22:02
  • 1
    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, 2014 at 6:11

I am 12 years old and i am taking prenisolone. DO NOT mix it with chocolate milk or soda. you are just wasting it. what i did that was best for me was eating a lot of spicy chips and then tilting my head back and squirting the medicine in my mouth with a syringe. that worked best for me but it might not work with little kids because of the spicy chips. but anything that will kill the tastebuds, coat the mouth, or has an overpowering aftertaste. i have tried eating a popsicle and then taking it but it didnt work.

  • Hi, Aaralyn. Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately you have to be 13 to participate on SE sites; also, a 2 year old might not go for a mouthful of spicy chips. :-/ Sep 27, 2016 at 21:23

We have been dealing with this problem for over a year now and I have finally found out that there are a handful of manufacturers that supply the generic of Orapred. It tastes soooooooo good its hard to believe that the other one is still being used. My 3 year old began to vomit the prednisolone that we have been recently giving her and I couldnt figure out why until I looked at her prescription history chart and realized that it was a different manufactuer.

Mortan Grove Pharmaceuticals offers a generic form of prednisolone that has a palatable taste. Hope this helps! Now my daughter has no problem taking her meds!


When they get old enough to hold their nose you can have them hold their nose, take the med and while still holding their nose chew on a piece of gum or suck on a strong candy/sucker for a minute and then release the nose. You can't taste if you're holding your nose. (Been a nurse for 20+years) For babies, if your Pediatrician doesn't object, you can add some jello to the medicine...which is similar to what the pharmacist does to "flavor" it.

I don't recommend adding it to ANY food or liquid. You just end up with a lot more volume of nasty tasting stuff to force down their throats.


I know this is very old but we had this problem yesterday and I want to second the recommendation on getting the Orapred generic.

My son was given the liquid prednisolone at Urgent Care and took it perfectly, so when we went to give him a dose at home and he wouldn't take it I knew something was wrong. I tasted a tiny bit of it myself, it was awful and I could immediately tell that it had alcohol in it.

With a little googling I found this article: https://www.uspharmacist.com/article/selecting-an-oral-prednisolone-liquid-for-children

Be clear with your pharmacist that you need the formulation that does not contain alcohol, and if they don't have it, ask them to call around other pharmacies to find one that does. The correct version is a pale yellow, as opposed to the alcohol containing version which is pink.

I did this and 45 minutes later we had the Prednisolone Potassium Sorbate oral solution, my son took it easily in one go!

  • Welcome, and thanks for this answer! It's important to read that whole (excellent) article before making a blanket statement, though. But it's a good contribution, so thanks. :) Sep 4, 2017 at 16:30

I used to administer oral liquid prednisolone to my cat. The vet recommended that I have the medicine flavored for her at a formulary pharmacy. Even my small-town formulary pharmacy had options like chicken flavoring. I'm sure they had other options for their regular (human) customers.

Obviously, my cat didn't have a lot of say in the matter, and didn't give me a lot of constructive feedback about the taste. But it's still worth checking in with a local formulary pharmacy to see what options you might have. If I recall correctly, the cost was only $3 or $4 for flavoring.

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