It can be difficult to get your child --- or maybe even yourself --- to take medications, especially if they are bitter tasting. In some situations, such as during cancer treatment, these medications are necessary for healing and feeling better. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to disguise the bad taste of medications.
Crush and Mix in Food
To camouflage the bitter taste of medicine, crush or empty out capsules and mix them into small amounts of food. Try crushing up the medication and mixing it into ice cream, chocolate syrup, softened candy, a fruit roll-up, fruit-flavored beverages, applesauce, jelly or powdered sugar -- just be sure to eat or drink the food or beverage entirely so that you ingest all of the medicine. You can also do this with liquid medication. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if it is ok to mix, crush or empty out particular medications --- not all medications can be disguised this way.
Preventative and Follow Up Remedies
Preparing your mouth and medication ahead of time can help disguise poor-tasting medications. Do this by sucking on an ice cube or ice pop treat prior to swallowing a bitter medicine. This will help numb your mouth and lessen the taste. In addition, chill the medication to help reduce the unflattering taste. When done taking the medication, rinse your mouth out with your favorite drink to minimize any bitter aftertaste.
Use a Straw
Put the bitter tasting capsule or pill as far back on the tongue as possible. Suck water or a flavorful beverage such as juice up through a straw. Only concentrate on quickly gulping or swallowing the fluid --- not the pill. The medication will easily slide down along with the juice --- helping to minimize any bad taste. If this process is difficult for you, practice with better-tasting objects such as small bits of butter-coated candy.
Convert It Into Liquid
Disguise bad-tasting medications by converting them into liquid form. Moisten the medication and then crush it between the backs of two spoons before mixing it into your favorite drink such as milk, juice or soda. For medications that are already in liquid form, simply mix them with the desired liquid. A sweet-tasting beverage works best to disguise bitter medications, just be sure to watch the serving size to make sure that you or your child can drink the entire cup. Almost all medications can be diluted this way, but check with your doctor to be sure this is safe. Some enteric-coated or slow-release tablets will not be as effective if diluted.