Minitablets may be new option for children’s medicines

By Tom Nordlie • Published: May 21st, 2009
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Ever notice that solid medicines for children are always chewable?

There’s a longstanding belief that kids won’t swallow pills whole.

Well, a study published in the journal Pediatrics suggests that notion may be wrong.

Researchers set out to determine if children ages two to six years old could successfully swallow minitablets.

These are new-generation pills no more than one-fifth of an inch wide.

The study involved one-hundred young patients at a London hospital.

Their parents were asked to give each child age-appropriate directions on how to swallow a minitablet, accompanied by water or another beverage.

The minitablets contained no medication.

The results showed that almost half the two-year-olds swallowed the pill. And the success rate increased with age… more than eighty-five percent of the five-year-olds did it.

Here’s why these findings could be important. By using minitablets, drug manufacturers may be able to offer timed-release formulas that ensure steady delivery of medication.

Minitablets also eliminate the need for flavoring agents and some other components of chewables and liquids.

It’s worth noting that some parents in the study said they found liquid medicines problematic.

Anyone who’s watched a child spill part of a dose and then fretted about how much to administer on the second try may agree.

So if your pediatrician recommends minitablets, keep an open mind.

Children are often capable of doing more than adults believe they can.

It might turn out that these minute [my-newt] medications won’t be a bitter pill to swallow, for you or your kids.