Technology is Making Medications Tastier to Swallow For Children
Just a spoon full of flavor makes the medicine go down easier for kids.
By Sarah Lieu
CHARLESTON -- When it comes to antibiotics, pharmacists at Loop Pharmarcy are mixing up tastier medicine the high-tech way. Technology is making it more interactive for parents and their kids to pick the flavor. A new machine at Loop Pharmacy's location in Kanawha City in Charleston lets the pharmacist scan the bar code from the prescription bottle. Information about the prescription flashes on the screen with the exact amount of flavoring that should go into the medication. "With this new tool, everything is done visually. In fact, it's so fast that it takes five minutes instead of 30 minutes these days," said pharmacy owner Bill McFarland.
For the discerning kid, the system dispenses
popular flavors like apple, bubblegum, grape, strawberry and watermelon. Flavoring medicine has been around for years. This makes it more interactive, allowing families to feel more in charge of their health care. "They're involved in it and they see how easy it is. They see that their children actually get choices. They see that their children will absolutely take their medication and if you get a child that helps in that decision-making process, it's much easier for them to take their medication," McFarland said.
Loop Pharmacy flavors mostly antibiotics for children, which McFarland says doesn't really pose a danger if the child accidentally gets into the child-proof bottle. "The truth is though, if they took this entire bottle of antibiotic, the worst thing that would happen to them is that they would get a real good case of diarrhea," McFarland said. At least it tastes good going down. This system also can flavor many over-the-counter medicines, like your antihistamines, Tylenol or Motrin.