At a time when we have become more concerned about our health, more and more people need to take a certain medication. Some can do it without a problem, while others struggle, especially children, due to its bad taste. Why do medicines taste bad? We tell you why they have this peculiar flavor.
The fact that medicines taste bad is a well-known idea for people. Not all, but many versions in syrup or drinkable ampoules have this bitter taste, as do most antibiotics. On the other hand, some drugs use flavorings to improve the taste, such as syrups for children or commonly used pain relievers.
Why does medicine taste bad?
The cause of bad taste in medicines is due to their active ingredients, which are the substances that produce the effect sought by the drug. Most of these active ingredients have a bitter taste.
In nature, most of the poisons, active principles, are bitter, this is explainable from the evolutionary point of view. Most animals are sensitive to bitter taste to know which foods and which are not poisonous, and thus avoid ingestion.
In humans, for example, when we take something very bitter, it causes us a feeling of disgust, we can even gag and vomit. This is a perfect defense mechanism of our body to avoid being poisoned.
Tips for taking a pill
- Many children, or not so children, may have difficulty swallowing a pill or pills. For this there are mechanisms or tricks that can help make this much easier.
- Start with small candies and work your way up to larger ones that are close to the size of the pills the person will be taking.
- Use plenty of water or another favorite drink. Allow large drinks.
- Try different head positions, for example: head tilted back, slightly forward, center, left and right. Find out which head position best suits the person you care for.
How to swallow a pill
- Take a few sips of a drink to moisten your mouth and throat.
- Put the pill in the center of the mouth. Do not put the pill in the back of your mouth. This can make it difficult to swallow and possibly trigger a person’s gag reflex.
- Take a big sip of the drink. Try using a plastic water bottle to squeeze it and take a big drink of water.
- Put the pill in the mouth. Take a big sip of the drink and look at the floor. Doing so will float the pill in the back of your mouth making it easier to swallow.