Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

The Rx for Your Kids: New Flavored Penicillin

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

The Rx for Your Kids: New Flavored Penicillin

Article excerpt

THE WAY that Ken Kramm recalls it, by the time that he and his wife had finally succeeded in getting their baby to take her medicine, it was time for the next dose.

An exaggeration? Not necessarily. I certainly believe him. I have had penicillin splashed from one end of my house to the other - and a 2-year-child zigzagging in between the vile purple stains. I have been desperate enough to call my daughter's godmother - who is not only a dear friend but, conveniently, a pediatric nurse - and beg her to come over to get the penicillin into the 2-year-old. I have been curious about what was so awful that no amount of patience or cajoling or out and out bribery could persuade the 2-year-old to open her lips.

So I tasted it myself. That explained everything. Penicillin tastes poisonous. But I was determined - after all, my child's health was involved. Kramm and his wife, whose infant daughter had a seizure disorder, were just as determined. What parent wouldn't be? But, Kramm recalled, they were also frustrated and exhausted: the medicine wars were taking over their lives. "Finally my wife said to me, "You're a pharmacist. Can't you do something to make this easier?" So he did. It took three years, but eventually Kramm and his dad, Harold, also a pharmacist, came up with a new concept: pediatric medicines in custom flavors. Strawberry? Banana? Watermelon? Root beer? Cinnamon? Licorice? The Kramms' FLAVORx system has turned their pharmacy counter into a kind of health-conscious soda shop, with 42 flavors to choose from. The synthetic flavorings don't compromise the efficacy of the medicine, the way some home-grown attempts to mask flavors will. For example, some medicines shouldn't be mixed into orange juice because acidity can affect them, Kramm said. Heat can alter medicine, too, as he had to explain to his wife the time she proudly told him she managed to get their daughter to take her medicine by scrambling it into an egg. …

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