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>This is the Way We Play Pharmacist

March 28, 2011


First, I’m not complaining about three doses per day! When Joy came home from the hospital we went through thirty-two syringes a day for two weeks. Now were down to three doses of Baclofen.

In the hospital, they dispensed Baclofen as a suspended liquid so I was surprised at discharge to be handed a bottle of tablets and a pill cutter with instructions to dissolve each quarter tablet in hot water three times per day. Not a bad plan if Baclofen tastes good dissolved in hot water…. The good news is: it doesn’t taste bad. Joy just didn’t think much of drinking chalk-flavored tea. And Baclofen doesn’t dissolve in any of the fruit juices I tried cold or hot (chemical thing, I’m sure).

So we resorted to raspberry-flavored, artificially sweetened water, in which Baclofen dissolves at room temperature. Joy accepted it that way while the Baclofen was one among many syringes that had jazzy flavors like licorice, bubble-gum and grape. But now that we’re down to just Baclofen, the Raspberry water just doesn’t cut it.

But Joy really likes Island Blend and Margarita mixes–which were the only things in the frozen juice section of the store (I was thinking ‘sugar syrup’ thoughts –what it tasted like in the hospital suspension) than came with reclosable caps. The caps being necessary because at 1.5 mls a day, these will last a long time.

So this is what works for us –just in case you some day need to suspend water soluble chalk in something that tastes better.

  • split the little itty bitty pills into ittier bittier pieces, twice (we need quarter tabs) trying to keep the itty bitty pieces uniform size to keep the doses even
  • drop a quarter tab into each of three dry syringes
  • draw up about 1 ml of room temp water into each syringe and cap it
  • go away and start breakfast
  • come back five minutes later and the chalk will be dissolved with no shaking required (yet)
  • draw up .5 mls of mix into the syringe
  • cap the syringes and refrigerate
  • when it is time for a dose, shake and serve

A pharmacist somewhere is gasping because there may be a rare volatile oil in the coconut extract in the Island Blend that neutralizes the therapeutic byproduct of Baclofen at half-life –or something like that.

If so, I suppose I’ll discover this because Joy’s spasticity will begin creeping back or her skin will begin growing coconut hairs. If not, at least she’s taking her medicine. And insurance tells me I have no choice: this can’t be refilled as a suspension until this bottle runs out.

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