Medication Palatability Affects Physician Prescribing Preferences for Common Pediatric Conditions

Hans Bradshaw, Michael J. Mitchell, Christopher J. Edwards, Uwe Stolz, Oday Naser, Amanda Peck, Asad E. Patanwala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objectives: The objective of this study was to determine if physicians would alter their prescribing preferences after sampling liquid formulations of medications for common pediatric diagnoses. Methods: This was a prospective interventional before/after study conducted at an academic medical center in the United States. The participants of interest included emergency, family medicine, and pediatric physicians. Participants initially completed a brief survey for their primary oral liquid medication of choice for the treatment of selected disease states. These included otitis media, sinusitis, cellulitis, asthma, colitis, and pneumonia. Participants were asked to choose one of the medication options for each disease and then were given all medications to sample for a taste test. The prescribing preference survey was then repeated. The primary outcome was change in prescribing. McNemar's test was used to evaluate change in proportion of medications chosen before and after taste testing. Results: There were 101 physicians who participated in the study. There were three conditions for which participants changed their prescribing preferences significantly. These were otitis media (change from amoxicillin to cefdinir, difference = 13.2%, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 5.5% to 21.0%), asthma exacerbation (change from dexamethasone or prednisone to prednisolone, 28%, 95% CI = 15.9% to 40.1%), and pneumonia (change from azithromycin to amoxicillin, 16.0%, 95% CI = 6.4% to 25.6%). There was no significant change with respect to the other scenarios. Conclusions: Physicians showed preferences for certain pediatric medications based on taste and showed significant changes in prescribing preferences for some common pediatric diagnoses after tasting different medications for these conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1243-1247
Number of pages5
JournalAcademic Emergency Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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