Background: The taste of oral liquid medications influences compliance in children. Generic preparations are prescribed to reduce cost and may taste worse than brand name products.
Methods: This was a prospective, randomized, double blind, crossover trial of the differences in taste and compliance between brand and generic antibiotic suspensions in children 3 to 14 years of age. Verbal and visual assessment methods were used to assess taste, and compliance was measured by the amount of drug returned after use.
Results: Ten children in each of the cephalexin and erythromycin-sulfisoxazole groups did not report that the brand and generic formulations tasted differently. Fifteen children thought that brand trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole tasted better than the generic preparation.
Conclusions: Brand name oral liquid antibiotics do not necessarily taste better than their generic counterparts. Despite preference for the taste of brand trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, all of the children in this study were compliant with both brand and generic medications.