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What are Liquid Medicines?

Liquid medicines are most commonly used by patients who have difficulties swallowing tablets and capsules such as children and the elderly. A liquid medicine can come in many forms which includes solutions, suspensions and syrups.1 Most commonly prescribed medications are available in a liquid format which can make taking medication easier.2

Rosemont Pharmaceuticals are experts in liquid medicines, with over 50 years’ experience. Our mission is to improve the health, quality of life and wellbeing of patients who have difficulty swallowing tablets by providing high quality prescription oral liquid medicines.

Medicines for oral administration are often complex and carefully designed to effectively treat a patient’s condition. Tablets are the most commonly prescribed format of medication as most patients find them convenient. Tablets are also cost effective to produce.3

Medicine poured into measuring spoon Couple walking down path

 

Liquid medicines can be the most appropriate alternative to tablets or capsules for patients who have difficulty swallowing. A liquid medication is designed to be both acceptable to the patient and palatable.3

Patients are commonly still prescribed medicine in the form of tablets and capsules, despite difficulties swallowing these types of medications being common.4,5 Rosemont are dedicated to the continual development and manufacture of liquid medicines which help patients avoid the discomfort of swallowing tablets.

A common response to not being able to swallow tablets is to crush them or open capsules.6 The NHS advise that you shouldn't chew, crush and break tablets, or open and empty powder out of capsules, unless your doctor or another healthcare professional has told you to do so. Some tablets and capsules don’t work properly or can become harmful when crushed or opened.7

Rosemont seek to assist healthcare professionals to deliver the best care for their patients by providing them with relevant information regarding swallowing difficulties and produce an extensive range of liquid medication spanning the majority of medicinal categories.

Should I take Liquid Medicine?

If you or someone you care for is affected by any of the following scenarios, contact your doctor, nurse or pharmacist to discuss an alternative form of medication such as a liquid medicine, which may be a more suitable format for you:

  • Finding it hard to swallow tablets or capsules
  • Not taking medicine because of fear of swallowing it
  • Crushing tablets or opening capsules to make them easier to swallow
  • Breaking tablets into smaller pieces to enable swallowing
  • Mixing medicine with food or drink to make it easier to take
  • Sucking or chewing medicine before swallowing

 

Swallowing disorders are more common in certain groups of people. A difficulty swallowing could result from damage to the nervous system due to a stroke or Parkinson’s disease. It can also affect people with intellectual disabilities. There are also a variety of oral conditions that can cause swallowing difficulties such as mouth and throat cancer or reflux disease.8 Swallowing problems are common in the elderly, which in part are a result of age-related changes and prevalence of other diseases.9

Oral liquid medications are a commonly accepted medication format in both older adults and younger children.5,10

Women pouring liquid medicine into measuring spoon Multiple open medication bottles

 

How Do I Take Liquid Medicine?11

  • Wash your hands with warm, soapy water
  • Carefully check the medicine’s expiry date. It’s also good practice to record the date that you open the medicine to ensure the medication is only used within its open shelf life
  • Open the bottle: press down the plastic screw cap and turn in direction of the arrows
  • Carefully measure out the prescribed dosage onto a medicine spoon or extract from the bottle using an oral syringe. Don’t use a kitchen spoon as this will be inaccurate
  • Give to the patient and ensure that it’s promptly taken
  • Wash the syringe or medicine spoon with fresh soapy water and let it dry before you use it again
  • Close the bottle with the plastic screw cap

 

Important information:

  • Always thoroughly read the label and accompanying leaflet (if there is one included) before taking your medicine. This contains important information about your medication.
  • Some medication is best taken on an empty stomach whereas others are to be taken with food or drink. There are also certain medications which shouldn’t be taken with specific foods or drink. This information will be clearly stated on the bottle label. Your Pharmacist will be able to advise if you are unsure.
  • When you get a new prescription of a medicine, check the strength and your dosage, as this may have changed from your previous prescription. If you have any questions or concerns, it’s important to contact your healthcare professional.
  • Some liquid medicines must be stored in the fridge, it will state this requirement on the bottle. If you are unsure, please speak to your pharmacist.

 

There are some liquid medicines which are also suitable for administration via an enteral feeding tube (PEG & NG), if this applies to you, your doctor or pharmacist will be able to provide more information.

If you are a healthcare professional and would like some more information regarding our liquid medicines portfolio, then please download our app or visit our product pages for more information, alternatively you can contact us.

View References

1. https://swallowingdifficulties.com/patients/what-is-a-liquid-medicine/ | 2. Medicines Management and Older People- a guide for healthcare professionals. Edited by R Greenwall. August 2016. | 3. Wright et al. 2011. Prescribing Medicines for Patients with Dysphagia. A handbook for healthcare professionals. | 4. Zajicek A, Fossler MJ, Barrett JS, et al. A report from the pediatric formulations task force: perspectives on the state of child-friendly oral dosage forms. AAPS J. 2013;15(4):1072–1081. doi:10.1208/s12248-013-9511-5 | 5. Belissa et al. (2019) Acceptability of oral liquid pharmaceutical products in older adults: palatability and swallowability issues. BMC Geriatrics 19:344 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12877-019-1337-2 | 6. Strachan, I & Greener, M. (2005) Medication-related swallowing difficulties may be more common than we realise. Pharmacy in Practice. Volume 15; issue 9; p411–414. | 7. https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/medicines/can-i-crush-medicines-before-taking-them/ (accessed 6th April 2020) | 8. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/swallowing-problems-dysphagia/causes/ (accessed 6th April 2020) | 9. Wright D & Tomlin S. How to help if a patient can’t swallow. Pharmaceutical Journal 271. 5th March 2011 (Vol 286). Available at https://www.pharmaceutical-journal.com/files/rps-pjonline/pdf/PJ050311_271-274.pdf (accessed 17th March 2020) | 10. European Medicines Agency, Committee for medicinal product for human use (CHMP) Reflection Paper: Formulations of choice for the paediatric population. EMEA/CHMP/PEG/194810/2005. Available at https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/documents/scientific-guideline/reflection-paper-formulations-choice-paediatric-population_en.pdf (accessed 7th April 2020). | 11. Medicines for Children. Information for parents & carers. How to give: liquid medicine. https://www.medicinesforchildren.org.uk/sites/default/files/content-type/medicines/How%20to%20give%20liquid%20medicine%20using%20an%20oral%20syringe%20%28with%20a%20bung%29.pdf (accessed 7th April 2020)

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