Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Just a spoon-full of sugar

"Just a spoon-full of sugar helps the medicine go dow-own, the medicine go down..."
-Mary Poppins
Whenever I hear that song from "Mary Poppins", I think about how easily the children took their medicine and wonder where Mary Poppins is whenever we need a new trick for getting medicine down. Most children's medicines are quite tolerable today ....and quite full of corn syrup! This is a huge problem for those with corn allergies.
With the fall season here and school fully under way, the children are passing germs from one to another and bringing home runny noses. Our house is no different. My little angel has already had her first infection for the season and, once again, we were faced with the challenge of which antibiotics are safe and how to best administer them.
Children's medicines are often dangerous because they contain corn based sweeteners and other inactive ingredients that she cannot eat. We have tried many medicines and after a short time it always seems that we have some type of reaction. So, here are some suggestions for those of you struggling with children's medicines and reactions to inactive ingredients.
  • Watch out for symptoms of allergic reactions After starting the medicine, if your little angel seems to be showing a symptom that could be an allergic reaction, seek medical advice when appropriate. Then, take note on a calendar which medicine you are using and the reactions that are occurring. Sometimes, it is hard to tell what symptoms are parts of the virus or infection and which are from a reaction. So, take thorough notes for the next time your child takes that medicine. Look for patterns and remember that reactions can take time to build so the first time it may be slow to start while the next time, your child takes the medicine, it could occur faster.
  • Try adult medicines of a proper dose Adult medicines often forgo the use of sweeteners as well as other inactive ingredients such as soy or corn that might cause a reaction. Work with your doctor to find alternatives. We have found that opening capsules of adult medicine or crushing tablets works well. While the taste isn't very sweet, we are able to get it down by wrapping the powder in cotton candy or putting it in a few tablespoons of water sweetened with honey (drink it through a straw to help it go down quicker).
  • Find a compounding pharmacy Most cities have a compounding pharmacy. Sometimes they are the older pharmacy or a pharmacy is a hospital but there should be one within a reasonable driving distance from most people. The pharmacist may be able to compound the proper dose and mix it with a simple syrup or dose it out in a way that you can use cotton candy or honey teat to "get it down".

As parents of allergic angels, we are great at thinking outside of the box. This is another time when this skill is handy. Talk to other parents about how they are managing these situations. Let me know suggestions that help your angel's medicine "go down" or how you handle the issue of allergies to inactive ingredients. Then, remember.....

"Just a spoon-full of sugar helps the medicine go down"!

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