All About Antibiotics

How Can I Make It Easier for My Child to Take Antibiotics?

spoonful of medicine

Sometimes the best antibiotic for your child is the one that tastes the worst. Camouflage the bad taste in a spoonful of something like pudding or applesauce. Putting antibiotics in a baby's bottle, though, is not advisable because it's difficult to guarantee that the baby will drink the entire dose at one time. Most antibiotics are tolerated better if they aren't taken on an empty stomach. And absorption of some antibiotics is actually better, as your doctor or pharmacist will tell you, when they're taken with a fatty food such as ice cream. (Your toddler didn't bribe me to say that!)

In addition, many pharmacies offer special flavoring to make medicine taste better, so ask if that's available when getting your prescription filled. But what if your child still spits out the medication? If she spits it up more than 15 minutes after taking it, wait until the next scheduled dose to avoid double dosing. If it comes up immediately, repeat the dose -- it's unlikely your child's system absorbed any of the medicine. Most pharmacies overfill children's liquid medicine slightly to allow for accidental spills or spit-outs, so if the medicine comes up once or twice, you'll probably have enough to get you through the entire course. If your child spits out the dose repeatedly, though, call your doctor. You may need to get an additional prescription, or your pediatrician may switch the antibiotic.

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