The objective of this study was to assess the acceptability and swallowability of several minitablets when administered as a unit dose compared with an equivalent dose of syrup in children aged 6 months to 5 years.
The acceptability and swallowability of multiple drug-free minitablets in comparison with glucose syrup was assessed in 372 children of 2 age groups (186 in age group 1 [6-23 months of age] and 186 in age group 2 [2-5 years of age]) in a randomized, 3-way, single administration cross-over study. Age group 1 received 25 minitablets, 100 minitablets, and 5 mL syrup. Age group 2 received 100 minitablets, 400 minitablets, and 10 mL syrup.
Superiority was demonstrated in age group 1 for acceptability (25 minitablets, P < .017; 100 minitablets, P < .0001) and swallowability (25 minitablets and 100 minitablets, both P < .0001) compared with syrup. In age group 2, noninferiority of acceptability was found only for 400 minitablets (P < .0003), not for 100 minitablets. Subgroup analysis revealed a strong sequential effect. For swallowability, noninferiority could be demonstrated for 100 minitablets (P < .01) but not for 400 minitablets.
Administration of ≥25 minitablets is well-tolerated, feasible, and safe in children aged from 6 months, and was superior to the equivalent dose of syrup. Children aged >1 year accept ≤400 minitablets even better than the equivalent dose of syrup. Minitablets open the perspective for introducing small-sized solid drug formulations for all children, thus, further shifting the paradigm from liquid toward small-sized solid drug formulations.