Pediatric Blood & Marrow Transplantation Center
We're here to help: (888) 601-0787 or (612) 273-2800

Taking Medicine

Throughout the BMT process, it will be necessary for your child to take many different medications. Early preparation and discussion with your child will significantly aid in long-term medicine taking.

What is helpful for children?

  • Having a mastery and a sense of control over what is happening to them
  • Knowing what to expect
  • Make it part of their routine (visual sticker charts, schedule boards)
  • Be honest and consistent
  • Each child is different—let your medical provider know if you need new ideas
  • Have your child choose an appropriate time limit for taking medicines
  • To maintain trust, avoid putting medicines in food without child's knowledge

Helpful ways to prepare your child:

  • Explain to your child the long-term importance of medicine taking
  • Talk to your child about what each medicine does to help their body
  • Tell your child there will be a lot of medicines they will have to take throughout their recovery
  • Have them practice taking pills with Skittles, M&Ms, Nerds, Tic-Tacs, or Smarties

If a child is having problems swallowing liquids

  • Cover with chocolate or strawberry syrup
  • Suck on an ice cube first to numb taste buds
  • Choose a favorite drink for after the medicine is swallowed
  • Suck on a favorite candy before and afterwards to mask the taste

If a child is having problems swalling pills

  • Practice using empty capsules or Nerds candies
  • Capsules may be made more slippery and easier to swallow if your child dips them into ice water just before taking (don't wait too long to take pill after it's wet)
  • Have your child take a drink before swalling the pill—a patient once called this technique "grease the chute," or "waking your gulper"
  • If the pill is too big or sticks in your throat, see if you can put it into an empty capsule or crush it up and put it in some small capsules. Capsules slide down your throat much easier.
  • If patients are able, try eating some crackers before and after the pills. For somep atients, this helps settle their stomach—especially if pills are one of the first "foods" they have eaten in a long time

Journey Clinic - Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Center

2450 Riverside Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55454
612-365-1000
612-365-1000 TTY: 612-672-7300

For information about the Adult Blood and Marrow Transplantation program, click here:

We're Here To Help

We have been providing innovative care to children in need of a blood and bone marrow transplant for over 40 years. Call us, we're here to help.

(888) 601-0787 or (612) 273-2800

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