Objective Liquid medicines are easy to swallow. However, they may have disadvantages, such as a bad taste or refrigerated storage conditions. These disadvantages may be avoided by the use of oral solid medicines, such as powders or tablets. The aim of this study was to investigate the acceptability of and preference among four oral formulations in domiciliary infants and preschool children in The Netherlands.
Methods Parents administered four oral placebo dosage forms that were aimed at a neutral taste, at home, to their child (1–4 years of age) twice on one day following a randomised cross-over design: small (4 mm) tablet, powder, suspension and syrup. They were asked to report the child's acceptability by a score on a 10 cm visual analogue scale (VAS score) and by the result of the intake. At the end of the study, they were asked to report the preference of the child and themselves.
Results 183 children were included and 148 children were evaluated. The data revealed a period/cross-over effect. The estimate of the mean VAS score was significantly higher for the tablet than for the suspension (tablet 9.39/9.01; powder 8.84/8.20, suspension 8.26/7.90, syrup 8.35/8.19; data day 1/all days). The estimate of the mean number of intakes fully swallowed was significantly higher for the tablet than for the other formulations (all p values <0.05). Children and parents preferred the tablet and syrup over the suspension and the suspension over the powder (all p values <0.05).
Conclusions All formulations were well accepted. The tablets were the best accepted formulation; the tablets and syrup the most preferred.
Trial Registration number ISRCTN63138435.
- Patient Acceptance
- Dosage Form
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