Science News

Look Out for Sweet Tasting Drugs

Sat, 3rd Aug 2002

Part of the show How Acupuncture Works

New developments in tablet and drug design could be a godsend to people who find swallowing pills too much to stomach. Many labs are now developing pleasant-tasting melt-in-your-mouth varieties of their medicines to make their most successful brands more palatable. So how are they made ? The active drug is made into a fine powder and coated with a special polymer which masks its flavour. The coated particles are then compressed into tablets which disintegrate when placed in the mouth. Added flavourings can produce cherry, mint and even chocolate varieties. A major benefit of this technology is that patients are more likely to take their medicines if they taste nice and are easy to swallow. The composition of the tablets can also be tweaked to produce versions that dissolve slowly under the tongue to avoid irritating the stomach. But some people, especially parents, are worried that because the tablets taste nice, children might mistake them for sweets…


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