Skip to main content

How to Take Bad-Tasting Medicine

A spoonful of sugar may make the medicine go down, but that's not your only option.


  • Step 1: Increase the concentration Ask your pharmacist whether the medicine is available in a lower concentration. A teaspoon of a medicine with a 50-milligram concentration may be easier to swallow than a half-teaspoon of the 100-milligram concentration even though the dose is the same.
  • TIP: Ask your pharmacist about other ways to mask the taste. Pharmacies often have dozens of flavor options such as vanilla, butterscotch, peppermint, licorice, and coffee.
  • Step 2: Disguise the taste Disguise the taste of the medicine by mixing it with a small amount of pudding, applesauce, or ice cream.
  • Step 3: Anesthetize your taste buds Suck on an ice cube before taking the medicine. The ice numbs the taste buds and makes it easier to swallow the medicine.
  • TIP: Placing the medicine in the refrigerator before taking it may dull its flavor.
  • Step 4: Overwhelm your taste buds Saturate your taste buds with a strong sensation prior to taking the medication. Chew an orange or lemon peel, or suck on cloves or another aromatic spice before taking the medication. The strength of the initial sensation causes the taste of the medicine to be less perceptible.
  • FACT: Did you know? Some scientists believe the human sense of bitter taste evolved to protect humans from ingesting poisonous plants.

You Will Need

  • A pharmacist
  • A taste disguise
  • Ice
  • A taste-bud saturator

Popular Categories