This mini-review discusses relevant aspects of gastro-intestinal transit in different ages of paediatric patients with an attempt to highlight factors which should be considered in oral dosage form design, in particular multi-particulate dosage forms. This emphasis is due to multi-particulates possessing many of the benefits of liquid oral formulations (such as ease of swallowing and dose adaptability) without many of their drawbacks (such as stability issues and lack of enteric or modified release functionalities). It is commonly stated that children are not merely small adults with regards to medicines. However, there has been very little research regarding how different dosage forms transit through the gastro-intestinal tract in children compared to adults, due to both ethical and practical hurdles. Due to this lack of studies on dosage form transit in children, information which was available on the transit of food, milk and liquids (often dependent upon the age of the patient) has been used to look at how various aspects of transit vary with age and, where possible, when they reach adult values and how these may affect the fate of dosage forms in vivo: swallowability, oesophageal transit, gastric emptying and pH, intestinal and colonic transit are discussed.
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