Content on this page was developed during the 2009-2010 H1N1 pandemic and has not been updated.
- The H1N1 virus that caused that pandemic is now a regular human flu virus and continues to circulate seasonally worldwide.
- The English language content on this website is being archived for historic and reference purposes only.
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Questions & Answers
Opening and Mixing Tamiflu® Capsules with Liquids if Child Cannot Swallow Capsules
December 1, 2009 4:00 PM ET
Is there a shortage of oral suspension (liquid) Tamiflu®?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the maker of Tamiflu® (Roche) have said that available supplies of liquid Tamiflu® for children are limited.
What is being done about this?A pharmacist can make a Tamiflu® suspension (liquid) using available Tamiflu® adult capsules, which are not in short supply. CDC has alerted pharmacists about this option and provided instructions on how to prepare a suspension using adult capsules. Some pharmacies, including some chains, can do this already, others are not yet prepared. Children’s doses of Tamiflu® are also available in capsules.
What can I do if my child cannot swallow capsules?If your doctor prescribes Tamiflu® capsules for your child and your child cannot swallow capsules, the prescribed capsules may be opened, mixed with a thick sweetened liquid, and given that way.
What liquids can I use?A thick sweetened liquid, such as regular or sugar-free chocolate syrup, that masks the flavor of the medicine can be mixed with the contents of the Tamiflu® capsule. You don’t have to use chocolate syrup but thick, sweet liquids work best at covering up the taste of the medicine. The child should consume the liquid mixture entirely.
If my child can’t swallow capsules, how do I open Tamiflu® capsules and mix the medicine?Pour a small amount (about a spoonful) of the thick sweetened liquid into a cup or bowl. Carefully open the Tamiflu capsule prescribed by your doctor and pour out all of the powder inside the capsule and mix it into the liquid. The exact amount of liquid used doesn’t matter, as long as the powder inside the capsule is mixed in well. All of the medicine may not dissolve, just be sure it is all well mixed. Use only the prescribed dose.
What will I need to do this?You will need
- The prescribed Tamiflu® capsule
- A small bowl or cup
- A spoon
- A spoonful of a thick sweetened liquid, such as regular or sugar-free chocolate syrup
How do I mix the ingredients?
- Pour a small amount (about a spoonful) of the thick sweetened liquid into a cup or bowl.
- Holding one capsule over the bowl, carefully pull the capsule open and pour the complete contents of the capsule into the bowl.
- Stir the mixture and give the entire dose to the child with a spoon.
Should my child take all of the mixture??
Yes, make sure your child takes all of the medicine mixture.
For additional information see:CDC: Caregiver Instruction Sheet: Opening and Mixing Tamiflu® Capsules with Liquids if Child Cannot Swallow Capsules
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