Syrups, elixirs, solutions, and suspensions are traditional dosage forms for oral medication. These liquid formulations are typically measured by pouring into a spoon, but this approach has the great drawback of spillage. The risk of spillage can also cause people to under-fill the spoon, leading to inaccurate dosage, according to the firm.
Moreover, with elderly people, children and the infirm, difficulty in filling a spoon with a liquid and bringing it to the mouth can be a serious impediment to administering the medicine. Solid formulations such as pills, tablets, and capsules are also difficult for children and for elderly, infirm people to swallow.
Taro's patent (No 6,656,482) covers light, water-soluble gels, which are easy to clean from a spoon bowl, and from any other surfaces which they may contact. The surface tensions of the formulations are sufficiently high to provide desirable spill-resistance, while allowing the product to be sufficiently free-flowing. It also covers the design of a squeezable container to dispense the medicine.
The liquid gel, made by combining a pharmaceutical active in a liquid base with a thickening agent, will stay on the spoon even if is turned 90 degrees or upside down, says the patent.
Taro launched a line of products based on this technology, called NoSpill, in the third quarter. The range is sold across the US under the ElixSure brand and includes medications for fever/pain, cough or congestion.
"An unpleasant struggle often develops when giving liquid medications to children, which can result in spills, stains and inaccurate dosages of medicine," said Barrie Levitt, CEO of Taro's US division. "We believe that ElixSure's spill-resistant formulations may go a long way towards solving this problem."