Is Your Child Struggling To Swallow Medication?

About 18% of children ages 0-11 need prescriptions for ongoing conditions. Some drugs come in pill form, requiring young kids to swallow each dose consistently. Like some adults, many young kids also have difficulty swallowing pills. Sometimes, the child needs confidence and practice to swallow the pill. However, some physically cannot swallow solid objects. This is a unique condition called dysphagia. Kids with dysphagia run the risk of declining health due to non-adherence. However, thanks to ingenious compounding methods, kids with dysphagia can take medication consistently and safely.

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What is dysphagia?

Dysphagia is the scientific term for difficulty swallowing or moving objects from the mouth to the esophagus, then the stomach. This is not a psychological issue but a developmental or physical one. Sometimes, a foreign object, infection of the tonsils or adenoids, or a tumor can cause a temporary blockage. Doctors can address these instances with the right treatment. However, developmental challenges can prevent children from swallowing pills or even solid food. These include larger or smaller jaws, tongues, teeth, or tonsils. In addition, some children show early signs of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or have developmental delays in the mouth, throat, or digestive tract. About 1% of children have some form of dysphagia.

Is compounding the answer?

Helping young kids to take medicine is a common obstacle to dysphagia. The condition can improve with age. However, some children need treatment for an immediate health problem. Dysphagia will then lead to non-adherence and worsening symptoms. Pharmacists have found that compounding medication is an excellent strategy to help kids take medication. Compounding is making custom medication to suit the patient’s needs. A compounding pharmacist combines raw ingredients or multiple medicines into one easy-to-use form.

How can compounding help?

A compounding solution is useful in several ways. For starters, the pharmacist can change the form of the medication from a pill to a liquid state. If liquid medication is still challenging, other options include topical medication or medicated lollipops. The pharmacist can use the child’s favorite color or flavor to ease hesitation. Compounding can also remove preservatives or allergens that can cause unwanted reactions. Best of all, the pharmacist can create a safe dosage to reduce any side effects. A personalized approach can improve the long-term health of the child.

Make medicine adherence easier

Kids often struggle to take medication, especially in pill form. Parents can help kids learn how to swallow pills over time. However, there are instances where the child is struggling with dysphagia. Not only can the condition reduce medication adherence, but the child can face other health conditions. These include vitamin deficiencies and weight loss. Compounding takes the stress out of dysphagia by developing an easier solution.


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