Taste Comparison of Corticosteroid Suspensions

October 2006 | Volume 5 | Issue 9 | Original Article | 835 | Copyright © October 2006

Thomas D. Regan MD, Dawn Lewis MD, Scott A. Norton MD MPH

Objective: Although numerous taste studies have compared the palatability of antibiotic suspensions,1-6 few have compared the palatability of corticosteroid suspensions.7,8 Therefore, we compared the taste of 8 commonly prescribed liquid corticosteroid suspensions with the intent to help guide prescribing practices and improve patient compliance. Methods: We conducted a randomized, double-blind study using 31 adult volunteers ages 24 to 57. All volunteers were asked to sample 8 different pediatric corticosteroid suspensions and to rate the palatability of their taste and aftertaste. The mean scores for each sample were then compared. Results: The 8 suspensions fell into 2 groups based on their taste scores: one group with relatively high scores or more acceptable tastes (Orapred, Pediapred, and a dexamethasone suspension) and a second group with relatively low scores or less acceptable tastes (a prednisone suspension and 4 cherry-flavored prednisolone suspensions). Conclusions: The results demonstrate a significant difference in palatability between corticosteroid suspensions. Not only will this new information help clinicians choose between otherwise equivalent corticosteroid suspensions but, given the importance children place on taste, may improve compliance as well.