Use of Polymers for Taste Masking Pediatric Drug Products
Many drugs are bitter and overcoming this bitter taste is a major barrier in developing a successful product, especially for pediatric patients. Approaches to mask taste include changing taste perception, creating a physical barrier to separate the drug from interacting with taste buds, and changing drug solubility. This review is focused on polymers and the different ways these materials are used to achieve taste masking. Attention is given to systems that are easily swallowed, as swallowability is another concern in developing palatable products for pediatrics. Variables that should be considered when selecting a taste masking approach are also presented.
Taste is a major obstacle in developing drug products, especially for pediatric patients, and a number of different approaches have been used to taste masking pharmaceutical products. Polymers are particularly useful to create physical barriers between the drug and the taste buds or to alter drug solubility through complexation. However, there is no universal method for taste masking. The formulation scientist must consider physicochemical properties of the drug itself, the type of dosage form to be developed, and the economics associated with a given approach(es). In many cases, a combination of different techniques may be necessary to achieve sufficient taste masking.
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