Evaluation of bitterness suppression of macrolide dry syrups by jellies

Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 2006 Mar;54(3):310-4. doi: 10.1248/cpb.54.310.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the bitterness-suppressing effect of three jellies, all commercially available on the Japanese market as swallowing aids, on two dry syrups containing the macrolides clarithromycin (CAM) or azithromycin (AZM). The bitterness intensities of mixtures of the dry syrups and acidic jellies were significantly greater than those of water suspensions of the dry syrups in human gustatory sensation tests. On the other hand, the mixture with a chocolate jelly, which has a neutral pH, was less bitter than water suspensions of the dry syrups. The bitterness intensities predicted by the taste sensor output values correlated well with the observed bitterness intensities in human gustatory sensation tests. When the concentrations of CAM and AZM in solutions extracted from physical mixtures of dry syrup and jelly were determined by HPLC, concentrations in the solutions extracted from mixtures with acidic jellies were higher than those from mixtures with a neutral jelly (almost 90 times higher for CAM, and almost 7-10 times higher for AZM). Thus, bitterness suppression is correlated with the pH of the jelly. Finally, a drug dissolution test for dry syrup with and without jelly was performed using the paddle method. There was no significance difference in dissolution profile. It was concluded the appropriate choice of jelly with the right pH is essential for taste masking. Suitable jellies might be used to improve patient compliance, especially in children. The taste sensor may be used to predict the bitterness-suppressing effect of the jelly.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects*
  • Azithromycin / adverse effects
  • Cacao
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Clarithromycin / adverse effects
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Flavoring Agents / chemistry
  • Flavoring Agents / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Macrolides / adverse effects*
  • Quinine / pharmacology
  • Solubility
  • Solutions
  • Taste / drug effects*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Flavoring Agents
  • Macrolides
  • Solutions
  • Azithromycin
  • Quinine
  • Clarithromycin