What is Taste Masking and How is it Effective?


Taste masking is a process of replacing the taste of medicines with other tastes. This process is done to improve patient adherence, to avoid side effects, and to help patients better take their medications.

How Does Taste Masking Work?

Taste masking of medicines is a tactic used by pharmaceutical companies to make it more difficult for people to detect the presence of chemical ingredients with medications. The technique utilizes sweeteners, bitter blockers, or other substances with distinctive tastes.

The idea is that these tastes will not be detected by patients through the use of taste modifiers or suppressants within the medications.

Pharma solutions have created a variety of strategies to improve patient adherence and acceptability of medications through not only the use of different tastes but also through different forms.

How is it Effective?

Taste masking for medicines is becoming very popular owing to its key benefits like making medicine more palatable, helping with patient compliance, reducing medication errors and bad tasting medications, and hiding adverse effects of medications like nausea or gastrointestinal problems

The taste of medications is an important factor as it could impact a patient’s compliance with their treatment. Patients might not like the way traditional medications taste and find that they need something more appealing to take every day. This could lead them to discontinue their treatment prematurely or worse yet, avoid treatment altogether and suffer from chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

Who Can Benefit?

Generally speaking, the pediatric and geriatric population are those that see the most benefit from medication taste masking. Children in particular tend to be picky about what they choose to eat or swallow which is why taking medications can become a challenge. This is where taste masking comes into play.

Taste masking medication can also help chemotherapy patients suppress their bad taste perception. It is proven that these medications can help reduce chemo-induced nausea and vomiting in patients greatly. Taste masking medication also prevents chemotherapy-caused complications such as dehydration, anorexia, weight loss, and hair loss.

How to Obtain Taste Masked Medications

If you or someone you know is suffering from bitter or unpalatable medications, you can call your doctor and receive a prescription for taste masked medications. If your doctor is unfamiliar with what options are available, don’t hesitate to reach out to your pharmacist to learn more about the options available.

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