Playing hide and seek with poorly tasting paediatric medicines: do not forget the excipients

Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2014 Jun:73:14-33. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2014.02.012. Epub 2014 Mar 12.


The development of paediatric medicines can be challenging since this is a diverse patient population with specific needs. For example, the toxicity of excipients may differ in children compared to adults and children have different taste preferences. Acceptable palatability of oral paediatric medicinal products is of great importance to facilitate patient adherence. This has been recognised by regulatory authorities and so is becoming a key aspect of paediatric pharmaceutical development studies. Many active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) have aversive taste characteristics and so it is necessary to utilise taste masking techniques to improve the palatability of paediatric oral formulations. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of different approaches to taste masking APIs in paediatric oral dosage forms, with a focus on the tolerability of excipients used. In addition, where possible, the provision of examples of some marketed products is made.

Keywords: Dosage form; Excipient; Formulation; Paediatric; Palatability; Taste masking.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical
  • Child
  • Excipients / administration & dosage*
  • Excipients / toxicity
  • Flavoring Agents / administration & dosage
  • Flavoring Agents / toxicity
  • Humans
  • Pediatrics
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / administration & dosage
  • Taste / drug effects*


  • Excipients
  • Flavoring Agents
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations