Patient acceptability is an important consideration in the design of medicines for children. The aim of this study was to investigate acceptability of multiparticulates in healthy children and adults. A randomised, single-blind acceptability testing was performed involving 71 children (4-12 years) and 61 adults (18-37 years). Each participant received three 500 mg samples of microcrystalline cellulose pellets administered on a medicine spoon with water at 5-10 minutes intervals. Acceptability was measured based on voluntary intake of the samples, facial expressions, ratings on hedonic scales and reported willingness to take multiparticulates everyday as a medicine. Multiparticulates were voluntarily swallowed by 92% of children and 100% of adults. However, palatability issues were identified, with emphasis on textural aspects. Grittiness perception received negative ratings on hedonic scales by 60% of children and 51% of adults. Researcher observations revealed that 72% of children and 42% of adults displayed negative facial expressions towards the samples. Children reported their willingness to take multiparticulates as a medicine in 30% of the cases, compared to 74% in adults. This study demonstrates that multiparticulates may be a suitable formulation platform for children and adults, although palatability concerns have been highlighted. Additional work is required to define acceptability criteria and to standardise methodologies.
- patient acceptability
- drug administration