A neonate or infant may not be able or willing to swallow a tablet or capsule. Many tablets can be crushed into a powder or a capsule opened and the contents mixed with water, syrup or baby food.


If a liquid formulation exists, this is usually preferrable to use.


Tablets that should not be crushed because of increased or erratic drug absorption:

(1) slow-release

(2) time-release

(3) enteric coated

(4) wax-coated

(5) sublingual preparation


A pharmacist should be consulted to determine if an insoluble precipitate might form and under what circumstances. Mixing with water or syrup should reduce the risk of chemical precipitation, but precipitation caused by a change in pH may occur.


If the medication is bad tasting or irritating then the infant may refuse ingestion or regurgitate it.


Capsules may be liquid filled or contain coated particles. These should not be crushed but may be carefully opened and the contents released. Particles in capsules should not be further ground since this may disrupt any coating.


Tablets mixed with water or syrup can be administered by a dropper or oral syringe.


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