FLAVORx Helps Families Fight Pandemic H1N1 Influenza Virus By Making Antiviral Medicine Taste Better
With the popular FLAVORx flavoring system for liquid medications, pharmacists are prepared to help children successfully take antiviral medications to fight the H1N1 and seasonal flu viruses. By improving the taste of these medications, including Tamiflu®, children are more likely to take their medicine as prescribed.
Columbia, MD (PRWEB) September 17, 2009 - As new cases of the H1N1 virus (swine flu) spread across the country and communities prepare for what is predicted to be one of the worst flu seasons on record, one Columbia, MD based biotechnology company is doing its part to help parents fight this pandemic flu. FLAVORx, a pharmaceutical industry leader in medication adherence, has developed unique and effective flavoring formulas that pharmacists use to improve the taste of antiviral medications, including Tamiflu (oseltamivir phosphate) - the most commonly prescribed medication used to treat both the H1N1 and seasonal strains of the flu virus.
"When the seasonal flu hits each year, we typically see increased requests from pharmacists looking for guidance on improving the taste of medications, both antiviral and antibiotic. We definitely see a spike in flavoring requests for Tamiflu," says Dr. Danielle Lavallee, Director of Pharmacy Programs at FLAVORx. "Based on our feedback from pharmacy professionals and parents, many children clearly struggle to take these important medications. Our three best flavors to improve the taste of Tamiflu are Bubblegum, Cherry and Raspberry."
The H1N1 strain of the flu virus is unique in that it affects children at a much higher rate than older adults, when compared to a typical seasonal flu virus. A recent H1N1 report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that children ages 5-14 are 14 times more likely to contract the H1N1 virus than adults over age 60. With a typical seasonal flu virus, children are normally two times more likely than older adults to contract the flu. With these figures in mind, it is critical that children who contract or are exposed to the H1N1 virus take their prescribed antiviral and antibiotic medications as directed, a term known as medication adherence. Because the taste associated with these liquid medications is often a barrier to doing so, improving the medicine's taste with FLAVORx can lead to positive increases in medication adherence. In fact, studies have shown that adherence rates for children on liquid medications are higher than 90% when flavoring is added. Without flavoring, medication adherence rates typically range from 50% to 60%.
"It's imperative for parents to know they have an option to make their child's medicine taste better when they go to the pharmacy. This is especially true for antivirals, including Tamiflu," states Stuart R. Amos, President and CEO of FLAVORx. "If a child has the flu, be it seasonal or H1N1, making sure he or she takes every last drop of the antiviral is extremely important. Flavoring the medication with FLAVORx can help."
Tamiflu is prescribed for children and adults who have contracted the flu virus, to keep it from spreading in the body. For the H1N1 virus, Tamiflu also is recommended as a preventative measure for people at a higher risk for developing flu-related complications. Tamiflu is not an alternative to the flu vaccine.
The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) recently projected that 30% to 50% of the U.S. population could become infected with H1N1 virus, causing an estimated 30,000 to 90,000 deaths mainly among children and young adults. This makes taking antivirals and antibiotics as prescribed more important than ever.
"We noticed a major spike in Tamiflu flavoring requests in the spring, when H1N1 first struck," says Lavallee. "As we prepare for the resurgence of H1N1 and the onset of the seasonal flu virus, we are doing everything in our power to educate consumers and pharmacists about the importance of flavoring antivirals, like Tamiflu, and antibiotics."
For children who have moved on to tablet forms of medication and are experiencing difficulty taking them, FLAVORx also offers Pill Glide. Pill Glide is designed to help both children and adults swallow tablets and capsules, including antivirals and antibiotics.