Indexed on: 10 Dec '16Published on: 01 Dec '16Published in: Pediatrics
Pediatric pharmacists are constantly faced with the challenges of supporting children and caregivers for whom the difficulties of swallowing medicines can be a daily struggle. Most medicines are only available as tablets and capsules, and where liquid alternatives exist, these products often have issues with palatability and high costs. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether the swallowing spray, Pill Glide, could help children in taking their solid and liquid medicines. This open label pilot study compared the spray with a behavioral approach alone, the current standard of care at the pediatric hospital. Patients were children on long-term drug therapies, either transitioning from liquid preparations to tablets and capsules, or known to be experiencing swallowing difficulties. Using age-adapted diaries, patients self-reported the difficulty of taking medicines on a 6-point hedonic scale for 2 weeks before the intervention, and then for 1 week while using Pill Glide. Data were analyzed from 10 children aged 6 to 16 years, with an average burden of 3.5 tablets per day. Pill Glide (strawberry was the most popular flavor) was shown to significantly decrease the overall medicine taking difficulty score by 0.93 (range, 0.33–1.53), almost 1 hedonic face point on the scale used (P = .002). There was insufficient data for liquid medicines. Pill Glide could help children with pill swallowing, thus improving patient acceptability of medicines and potentially adherence. It could also be implemented as a useful cost-saving intervention because solid dosage forms are cheaper.