Taking on foul flucloxacillin
In a study led by the University of Birmingham in collaboration with the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, the University of Liverpool and Evelina London Children’s Hospital, the palatability of flucloxacillin, in oral liquid form, was assessed together with factors associated with successful administration.
The results were instructive.
A mixed-methods study that included a structured review of online forums and a survey of parents and carers of children with cystic fibrosis identified a total of 18 strategies, including using a syringe rather than a spoon to direct the liquid within the mouth and offering a ‘reward’.
Parents and carers shared their experiences and suggested that as the child got older administration became less of an issue. ‘Initially it was very, very difficult. However, my daughter eventually got used to it,’ explained one participant. Another explained that after a year of administration their child got used to the taste of the sugar-free version of the antibiotic.
While 47% of the 255 parents and carers that took part in the survey reported the administration of flucloxacillin was more problematic than other medicines, 89.3% said that they were able to administer ‘most’ or ‘all doses’ of flucloxacillin.
Dr Batchelor and her team also found out that the brand of flucloxacillin administered significantly influenced the degree of difficulty associated with administration to children. They were also able to conclude that using a stronger suspension meant that a smaller volume is needed, making it easier for the child to swallow.