Hacks for bitter pills

Hacks for bitter pills

Administering medicines to children is often an uphill task for parents. Dr Sujit Paul offers some ways to make children take to medication


For many parents, the journey to parenthood comes with many fun and beautiful moments. They go gaga over their child’s first step, first feed, first laugh and many more firsts. However, when the child is sick for the first or the 40th time, most doting parents get anxious and upset.

To top it all, administering medicine to kids is far from a cakewalk. For most mothers medicine time is a nightmare filled with screaming, wriggling, crying, and of course, spitting! Unfortunately, this phase of parenting is unavoidable.

Here are some ingenious ideas that will help you administer medicine to your child without any fuss:

Add some flavour

The best way to feed your child medicine is to make it taste good. Many pharmacies have a flavour enhancer called
FlavourX, adding it to the bitter medicine will improve the taste and the child may be open to taking his medicines without any tantrums. However, it is advisable for you to consult your family doctor before adding any flavour to the medicine.


A child’s attention span is shorter than that of a butterfly. They usually get distracted which is a great perk while administering medicine. For this trick to work, you might need someone who can distract the little one while you feed the medicine.

The bottle trick

Babies who are bottle-fed can be given medicine easily using this trick. Babies are comfortable with the tip of a bottle. Injecting the medicine through the tip with the syringe or simply by using a medicine spoon to place it near the tip can help in feeding the medicine.

The swaddling trick

Children usually throw their arms and legs at the very sight of a medicine spoon or measuring caps. Hold them close, wrap them in a blanket and make them comfortable. The swaddling will comfort the baby and help in
administering the medicine with ease.

The infamous food trick

It’s easier to feed your kid medicine if you can hide it in their favourite food. However, it’s imperative for you to consult your family doctor whether you can do this or not.

Liquid or solid

Medicines come in various forms such as liquid, tablet and so on. It’s advisable to try all forms of medicine to see which one is easier for your baby. Make sure to ask your family doctor about the various forms they come in and the way to administer it.

Encourage imitation

Babies love imitating their parents, especially when the elders make them laugh by acting silly. Act out the whole medicine taking ritual in front of the child and you never know they might surprise you by aping you. It might take a few tries before you actually succeed but it’s definitely worth trying.

Feeding time

During feeding time babies are comfortable and the focus is centered on the feed, not on the medicine. The baby is mostly still during feeding and you can use this time to put ear drops or nasal drops.

The fingertip

This trick is the ultimate trick that has worked for mothers everywhere. Use a clean fingertip to take the medicine and feed your baby. Babies are comfortable with sucking your finger and find it difficult to spit it out.

(The author is managing director, StayHappi Pharmacy)

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