Introducing OES™ Technology

Why should a sick child
take bitter medicine?

OMEGA Easy Swallowable
Technology is easy to administer for pediatric patients aged 2-5 years and elders.

Conventional dosage forms and OES™ Technology for Children

In clinical pediatrics, the formulation is fundamentally important since it determines whether the dose can be successfully delivered to the pediatric patient. So, Liquid medicines are usually recommended for infants and younger children. For children the amount of drug required for the dose varies with age and weight. Active drugs must be diluted in a vehicle which allows accurate and convenient dose measurement. (Tony Nunn and et. al., Br J Clin Pharmacology v59(6); 2005)

Tongue and taste perception

The popular myth

about taste perception in human tongue can be explained by the figure below which shows distinct regions for tasting different tastes. It is based on a common belief that the bitter taste is sensed at the back while the sweet taste is perceived in the front tip.

Figure 1 :
Parts or the tongue showing the traditional myth on taste perception where ‘Bitter’ represents the back of the tongue while ‘Sweet’ represents the front tip.

However, this concept has been opposed by recent research works and scientists believe that the taste is perceived by all parts of the tongue and the taste papillae on the tongue are connected with nerves which carry the taste senses to the brain. This is in contrast to the traditional myth where it was thought that there were specific zones for sweet, salty and bitter taste perception in the tongue. In an article published by PubMed health, it has been stated that sweet, sour, salty, bitter and savory tastes can actually be sensed by all parts of the tongue (http://www. pubmedhealth/PMH0072592/, accessed on 2015.11.04) as represented by the figure below.

According to the same report, the structures called ‘papillae’ contain several taste buds with sensory cells and are responsible for the taste perception. Papillae are the wart-like structures on the surface of tongue which increase the surface area of the tongue and intensifies taste perception.

Importance of taste in pharmaceutical development

The majority of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) met in oral drug products have a bitter taste which is undesirable because unpalatable dosage forms have high risk of being rejected by patients, especially in case of pediatric formulations. Due to large variety of bitter receptors, it is almost impossible to block the taste receptors pharmacologically, and taste masking of API in medicinal formulations is possible only by formulation modification (Jańczyk M et al., 2010). One of the approaches to solve this problem is to prevent the contact with the taste buds. It can be performed by appropriate coating or encapsulation of API or particles containing API, which next can be dispersed in water.

Therefore, OES™ formulation can be an ideal dosage form to overcome the bitterness in taste of the drug formulations. First, it can prevent the contact of the bitter tasting API with the taste buds on the tongue and second, it can be easily swallowed which reduces the contact time between the taste buds and the drug formulations to less than a few seconds.

Importance of taste in pharmaceutical development

• Among conventional dosage forms, TABLETs are usually administered with water and swallowed immediately to reach the gastro intestinal system which makes their residual time in the oral cavity almost negligible. This can be utilized to avoid the bitter taste of the dosage forms because the bitter tasting API cannot make sufficient contact with the taste receptors in the tongue. But tablets have disadvantage of being inappropriate for pediatric oral administration which outweighs its advantage of escaping taste receptors. Similar is the case with capsules where the taste is relatively of no problem as a capsule shell encapsulates the drug, but it is still not suitable for administration to children or elderly patients who have dysphagia.

• SYRUP, a common dosage form for children, eliminates the problem of administration and can be easily swallowed. Syrup is a liquid that, upon oral administration, can spread over the tongue surface and create the unpleasant taste of the API on a relatively larger surface area over the tongue.

• Similarly, POWDERs, GRANULEs and DRY SYRUPs are also not suitable for children and are difficult to administer. They can persist in the oral cavity and tongue and can impart unpleasant taste of the API.

• Therefore, OMEGA(Ω) Easy Swallowable (OES™) can be utilized to overcome these disadvantages of unpleasant taste and administration problem in pediatric patients. An OES™ can be easily taken and swallowed by children because of its soft consistency. Moreover, it incorporates the bitter tasting API in its jelly matrix, preventing the contact with taste receptors on tongue.

Dosage Forms Sensory Test Patient Compliance (for children)
Residual Time in Oral Cavity Taste Masking Average Preference for Dosage Form Administration Swallowability Average
Tablet/Capsule 4 5 4.5 1 1 1 1
Powder 1 3 2 1 1 3 2
Syrup/Dry syrup 1 3 2 3 3 3 3
OD!FS 3 4 4 2 2 4 3
OES™ 5 5 5 5 5 5 5

Advantages of OES™