Many people need medicine, and medicines for children are especially important. As a parent, you try to make sure that your child gets the right dose of medication and that they take their dose each day. Sometimes children, especially young children or children with special needs, have a difficult time swallowing pills or even taking medicine that has a bad taste.
Because children are smaller and because their metabolisms are different than those of adults, you might need to cut pills in half, give medications at different times of the day, or always give specific medications with food. With of all the different variables, giving medicine can be a challenge for both parent and child and comes with a greater risk of dosing mistakes.
Fortunately, a compounding pharmacy can help with some of the dangers and difficulties that come with children’s medications. Learn the benefits of choosing compounding for your child.
Different Delivery Mediums
One of the most challenging things for children is to learn how to swallow a pill. Some kids might have trouble with the idea of swallowing something without chewing. Others might have a fear of swallowing pills, or they might struggle with pill size.
Compounding pharmacies can put some medications in more child-friendly forms. You might be able to get some medications in liquid form, even coloring them in whichever color your child likes best. You also might be able to get medicine in even more unique forms, including:
- Lollipops. Children who need electrolytes or a local anesthetic called tetracaine might do better with a lollipop than with other medication forms.
- Gummies. Some medications can be made into a gummy candy, which helps take the fear out of swallowing medication.
- Skin gels and creams. Some nausea medications might not need to be swallowed at all, but can be prepared as a skin gel applied to areas where the skin is thinner, such as the wrist. Numbing gels can also be used for kids who need injections at home or at the hospital.
- Drinks. A syrup in a syringe is not the only option. Some children might prefer to take medicine as a powder dissolved in a drink.
These different forms can appeal to the specific needs of a child, and they can also make taking medicine less of a chore for kids who need to take several prescription treatments on a daily basis.
Allergy and Sensitivity Considerations
Some children who have special medication needs also have special dietary needs. Some may have allergies to milk products, certain proteins, corn, wheat, nuts, specific dyes, and other medication additives you might find in over-the-counter or mass-marketed prescription medication.
For these children, the medication needs to be prepared specially to avoid these irritants. For example, a child might be sensitive to red dye found in basic over-the-counter ibuprofen or cough syrup. These can be prepared at a compounding pharmacy to be better suited for your child’s needs.
Specific Sizes and Colors
Some medicines, unfortunately, must be taken in pill form. For example, a medicine that releases slowly might need to stay in the capsule until it hits the stomach or the intestines. You can speak with a compounding pharmacist about making pills smaller so that they are less intimidating for children.
To make some pills more inviting, you may even customize the shape or color of the pill to make them easier for children to accept. Color-coded pills can also help if a child needs multiple medications in a day — you can prevent medication mix-ups and dosing mistakes more easily this way.
Specific Dosages for Individual Needs
Children also sometimes need very specific, targeted doses of certain medications. A ten-year-old child who is very underweight from a medical condition, for example, might not be able to take the standard dose of a medication made for a ten-year-old child. A compounding pharmacist can prepare a solution that is targeted to that specific child’s weight and age.
Another concern is medication interactions. Some medications cannot be given at the same time, but others can be. When a child needs five medicines and they are all safe to take together, they can be combined into one medicine and given in a single dose, which reduces the chance of making a mistake or missing a dose.
Sensory Processing Challenges
Finally, compounding pharmacies can make it easier for children with sensory processing disorders to take medications. A child with autism, for instance, can be very sensitive to specific colors, textures, and even times of day. A child with these challenges might fight even harder against taking pills, swallowing syrups, or using creams.
Your compounding pharmacist can work with you to find the best medication form for children that have mental health problems or sensory challenges.
For more information on how a compounding pharmacy can make giving medication to children safer and easier, contact us at Potter’s House Apothecary.