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Discovery & Development Formulation, Ingredients, Dosage Forms

The Perfect Cover Up

sponsored by BASF

Why is taste masking so important and how have approaches evolved over the years?

Krizia M Karry

In a 2003 survey conducted by the American Association of Pediatrics, unpleasant taste was identified as the biggest barrier for completing treatment in pediatrics. Later in 2007, it was published that the average rate for compliance with treatment was only 58 percent in children, with major deterring factors attributed to formulation and palatability. These facts have helped to fuel advances in taste-masking technologies.

Initially, taste-masking relied mostly on the addition of sweeteners and flavors. The problem with this approach is that for very bitter compounds, such as ibuprofen, the bitterness will dominate because you can only include so much sweetener in a tablet without making it too large, or further masking the metallic taste of the sweetener. Another problem is in formulating APIs that are highly soluble and need to be administered in high doses (e.g., acetaminophen), because both the sweetener and drug will start to dissolve in the mouth, and the sweet and bitter taste receptors in the tongue will activate to trigger an unpleasant reaction in the patient.

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