Floyd's Rx Compounding Monthly

October/November 2017 

Compounding for Children


The first thing that comes to mind when compounding for children is flavoring. Most drugs are bitter and it is difficult to convince a child that this nasty stuff is good for them. Your compounding pharmacist can help. A sweetening agent can almost always be added but that is usually not enough. We can add a flavor like strawberry or grape but that still is not enough. Our taste buds which are located on different areas of our tongue distinguish salt, sweet, sour, and bitter. If a doctor has prescribed a bitter drug, then it needs to be masked with an agent that involves all the other taste buds. For instance a salty taste is best masked by a sour one, like lemon or lime, while a bitter taste is best masked by salt. Another consideration is after taste for which flavors such as marshmallow and mint work well. One other thought: we compounders use the active ingredient in a powder form and don’t grind tablets to make our preparations. Manufactured tablets have bitter fillers and binders the taste of which is almost impossible to mask.

Sometimes flavoring can take different forms. There was one child who liked cupcakes. We incorporated his antibiotic into shortening, added flavoring agents, and anti-bitter agents, and placed this in an oral syringe to enable accurate dosing which Mom added to the icing on the cupcakes.

Children with sore throats and post tonsillectomy have benefited greatly from the lemon flavored anesthetic lollipops which we compound. The bitter anesthetic can not be tasted and the child gets immediate relief. A lollipop can last all day since Mom administers for only one minute and then replaces it in the dispensing bag. It can be reused every 2 to 3 hours and after eating or drinking.

If you’re tired of trying to use a suppository on a nauseated child, we can help. The anti-nausea medication can be compounded into a gel that can be applied to the child’s inner wrist with no objections from the child and the relief from nausea lasts for 4 to 6 hours or more.

Another product that we compound for older children and teens is a lip balm that we dispense in a chap-stick type container. It contains a local anesthetic and an antiviral agent and is great for cold sores and cracked lips. It can be painted on the lips and is discreet and can be kept in the pocket or purse. This is important to teens.

Children, teens, and even some adults with braces suffer the common problem of pain after a dental adjustment. We compound a flavored gel with several local anesthetics that can be painted on the gums to mask the discomfort. This can be reapplied as needed.

None of these remedies contain opioids that would dull the senses, slow reflexes, or cause drowsiness.

We compound many other innovative remedies for children and teens. Have your physician or nurse practitioner check with us and we’ll work out a customized solution for your child or teen.


Floyd Talley, R.Ph., compounding pharmacist, has specialized training in bio-identical hormone therapy for women and men.  He also has special training in compounding for  pain management, veterinary compounding, dental compounding, and compounding medications currently in short supply and not available, and in preparing medications either discontinued or no longer commercially available from the manufacturer . Let us be your problem solving pharmacy. 


Last Updated: 10/26/2017
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