This is a protocol for a Cochrane Review (Intervention). The objectives are as follows:
To assess the effects of solid versus liquid dosage forms on adherence to and acceptability of oral medications in children.
Secondary objectives include assessment of elements of the medication risk/benefit balance influenced by the drug dosage form, such as clinical efficacy and safety, treatment costs and adverse events related to oral administration.
As medication use in children was historically considered to be rare and mainly limited to anti-infective drugs, its nature and extent have only recently been investigated (Clavenna 2009a; Rieder 2010). Epidemiological data from developed countries reveal that over a year, half of the paediatric population is prescribed medications, from a wide range of therapeutic agents, and mainly in younger children (Clavenna 2009a; Clavenna 2009b; Zhang 2013). Anti-infective drugs, especially antibiotics, remain the most frequently prescribed medication. Other commonly used medications are respiratory drugs, analgesics, psychoanaleptics, antiepileptics, or corticoids (corticosteroids). Low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) provide very limited data; the most widely used medications in children are antimalarials, antibiotics and analgesics/antipyretics (Clavenna 2009a).