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Flavoring Database

Last Review: April 2005

Veterinary Recommendations
General Recommendations Per Drug Class
General Recommendations Based on Primary Tastes and Odors of Drugs
Ancillary Agents in Masking Tastes
Sweetening Agents

The diversity of chemical structures and physicochemical properties of pharmaceuticals presents significant challenges to developing acceptable flavored products for human and veterinary patients. A pleasant flavor is important to the success of a commercial product or compounded preparation in the marketplace. Products or preparations that have an unpleasant taste usually do not gain widespread public acceptance or encourage compliance with their use. Flavor is one of the key attributes in determining the palatability of pharmaceuticals administered in oral liquid and oral semisolid dosage forms.

Sweetening agents are also key ingredients in compounding good tasting medication since many drugs are very bitter and others have a bad taste or odor. Several flavoring techniques, such as combination and addition, can be used to work more efficiently with these agents. Flavor enhancers are especially useful for covering or masking off-notes and tastes. Certain ions, such as those of sodium, can suppress bitterness and enhance certain flavors, and sodium chloride is often used to enhance sweetness. Finally, flavoring agents confer a certain taste to the formulation. As with any ingredient in a formulation, the pharmacist must be extremely careful not to modify the stability of the drug when adding a flavoring or auxiliary agent due to a change in pH or drug solubility.

As one may conclude, flavoring a medication is not restricted to simply adding a flavoring agent. There are several critical points to be taken into consideration.'s Flavoring Database provides resource information on how to effectively prepare better tasting medication.