Organoleptic excipients used in pediatric antibiotics

Taste is a crucial factor that determines the palatability of the oral dosage form and patient compliance.


The aim of this work was to evaluate the organoleptic excipients in oral antibiotics for pediatric use marketed in Brazil.


The information was obtained from the Guide to Pharmacy, a reference for the pharmaceutical trade. The analysis included dosage forms for oral administration and drugs and their combination with antibacterial action. After this survey, we identified the constitution of the flavoring, sweetening, and coloring agents of each medicine. The results are presented in a descriptive form.


Twelve drugs or associations are distributed in 70 medicines. Oral suspension was the most common pharmaceutical dosage form. Sweeteners were sucrose, sodium saccharin, and sodium cyclamate. All the coloring agents observed are synthetic and the most frequent ones were yellow twilight no. 6, yellow tartrazine no. 5, and red ponceau 4R. The presence of two or more types of flavorings per medicine was observed.


Antibacterials use coloring agents, flavorings, and sweeteners to facilitate the administration of medicines for children, using up to six different substances per formulation. No natural coloring agent was observed, demonstrating an issue to be explored in the future. It is important to note that, although necessary, these excipients are responsible for a high incidence of allergic reactions in children. More on organoleptic excipients

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