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Palatability of oral paediatric antibiotics commonly prescribed in a Nigerian specialist hospital

Abstract

Objective Palatability of ampicillin–cloxacillin, amoxicillin–clavulanate, cefixime and cefuroxime axetil was assessed at the outpatient paediatric clinic of a Nigerian specialist hospital.

Methods Healthy children (n = 24; mean age 8.37 ± 2.33 years) and care givers (n = 31; mean age 35.22 ± 10.1 years) were included. Each consenting volunteer rated the ‘blinded’ taste of each antibiotic liquid preparation on a 10-point visual analogue scale (VAS) with various facial hedonic expressions. Independent observers also rated each cohort's taste perception of each drug. Best and worst tasting drugs were also assessed.

Results Cefixime and ampicillin–cloxacillin scored the highest (mean scores 7.83 ± 3.06 and 7.93 ± 2.03) and lowest (mean scores 4.83 ± 3.11 and 2.58 ± 1.28) points on the VAS scale for children and adults, respectively. Nearly all (93.5%) adults chose ampicillin–cloxacillin as the worst tasting (p < 0.01). However, observer rating of ampicillin–cloxacillin differed significantly between children and adults (3.94 vs 2.34, p < 0.001).

Conclusions Cefixime was the best-tasting drug among children and adults.

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