Arch Dis Child 97:1080 doi:10.1136/archdischild-2012-302797
  • Drug therapy

How sweet it isn't: a new formulation of sodium phenylbutyrate and the challenge of palatability for medicines for children

  1. Michael Rieder
  1. Departments of Paediatrics, Physiology and Pharmacology, Medicine, Robarts Research Institute, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Michael Rieder, Department of Paediatrics, Children's Hospital, 800 Commissioner's Road East, London, Ontario, Canada, N6C 2V5; mrieder{at}
  • Accepted 30 September 2012

The development of medications for children presents unique challenges that test the ingenuity of investigators and industry in their search for drugs that are safe, effective – and can be taken by children. One of the most telling challenges relates to palatability. Children – especially under the age of 5 – usually require medication to be in a liquid form, and as medications are typically bitter, children may find this to be, as one might say, a difficult thing to swallow. While this area has been historically understudied, recent work has clearly established that this is an important concern with clear implications for adherence and, ultimately, therapeutic efficacy.1–3

Guffon et al4 describe a series of studies exploring a …