6 answers

How Do I Get My Toddler to Take Really Bad Tasting Medicine?

My 2 1/2 year old was hospitalized over the weekend for an infection. She had to receive antibiotics via IV for 3 days. Now she has to take the remaining medicine orally for a week, 3x a day. It comes in capsule form which she cannot swallow yet. The nurses said to mix it in with something good, i.e. pudding, chocolate syrup, etc. We have done that twice now and she has taken it, but she's on to us. It really does taste awful. My husband accidentally used the spoon that he mixed the medicine with to have some of the left over pudding and said it was absolutely foul tasking. We've let her know that she has to take these or she will have to go back to the hospital to get them via the IV (and she does seem to understand this).

Any ideas on what to mix this with to make it easier to get down her or any other tricks to get her to take it? Also, the nurses said not to mix it with a liquid as that would make it worse, so it has to be something thicker like the pudding.
Thanks all!

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More Answers

Hi there! I've always found that Ice Cold meds taste much better going down! I always keep medication (ie: tylenol, motrin, claitin) in the fridge. My son likes THICK choc milk to drink afterwards. Milk seems to cut the bitterness and it really cuts down the aftertaste in their throat. Another method when my son was a baby/toddler I would use a syringe and slide it down the inside of his cheak, this way the liquid went straight to the throat and they instantly swallow and then the ickiness does not hit their tongue at all. Good luck!

My mom used to use grape jelly. I can't stand grape jelly now but it worked back then for me. Good luck.

This may seem silly-- but have you discussed this with your pediatrician. I have found that a couple times when they gave us icky tasting medicine - there was a better tasting alternative they didn't think of.

My daughter takes herbal remedies-- and they also taste awful. We found after trying many many things that a small amount of liquid with a HUGE amount of grape kool-aid powder did the trick (@ 1 tsp powder/oz. of liquid).

May want to try it even if they think it's worse with water. They could be wrong.

Another alternative is a compounding pharmacy. They will re-formulate the medicine into a flavored liquid. There are several in the city

When I was younger myself, I did not like to take medicine or swallow pills, my mom would mix grape jam (not jelly) with it and then I could take it with water or milk and swallow it down. The sweetness of the jam does help. Maybe give this a try if she like any jams.
Good luck


we have found that chocolate syrup kills the taste of everything . . .so we mix medicine, chocolate syrup and sometimes vanilla icescream up (sometimes saying we are making him special icescream for his sore throat or what not) . . . .my son will take no medicine at all . . .including the red tylenol liquid . . . and antibiotics . . . .this has worked so far. . . good luck

I can't believe they are giving your 2 1/2 yo a capsule! And good for you for getting any in her! Have you asked the pharmacy about another form? We just got through a week of bribery to get my son to take his liquid antibiotic that tasted horrible- we gave a fruit snack before and one after! lots of sympathy here!

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