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Last Updated: Monday, 28 November 2005, 00:02 GMT
Drinking straw helps drugs down
Image of Clarosip
A child should only be able to taste the beverage through the straw
A German-based drugs company has launched a drinking straw to help children take their medicine.

The straw contains and releases an antibiotic formulated to have a neutral taste so a child will not notice its presence in their favourite beverage.

Clarosip can be used with many drinks, including cola, and has a filter that shows when the entire dose of the medication has been taken.

Each year, millions of pounds worth of NHS-issued medicines are never taken.

Compliance

In some cases it is because the patient decides they do not want to take it because they find it unpleasant.

It can be particularly difficult for parents to persuade their children to take a medicine that tastes unpleasant.

Clarosip - which is made by Grunenthal - is designed to get round this.

The drinking straw can be used with cold and hot drinks.

If it ensures better compliance with dosing regimens then this should assist in a child's recovery from illness
Dr Vas Novelli of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children

Only juices with pulp, such as freshly squeezed orange juice, are not suitable.

The straw has a filter that shows when the entire dose of the medication has been taken.

The tasteless cover of the granulated medication, clarithromycin, is developed to dissolve in the stomach.

If the child does not swallow the liquid immediately and the cover dissolves in the child's mouth the bitterness of the antibiotic might be tasted.

Therefore, it is important that the child sips with the straw and ideally drinks half a glass of liquid in one sitting to ensure that all the granules are swallowed.

Dr Vas Novelli, consultant in paediatric infectious diseases at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, said: "If it ensures better compliance with dosing regimens, as well as the completion of a full prescribed course of antibiotics, then this should assist in a child's recovery from illness."

David Pruce of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society said: "It's often difficult to get children to take medicines, especially off a spoon.

"We would favour anything that would make it easier for children to take medicines."

He said it was important that children finished the full course of a prescribed course of antibiotic to reduce the risk of the infection recurring.

"It's often more difficult towards the end of a course when a child is getting better because there is less immediate motivation to continue with it. But parents should persevere," he said.




SEE ALSO:
Why don't people take medicine?
12 Jul 05 |  Health


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