Pharmacy World and Science

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 118–119 | Cite as

The dental implications of chronic use of acidic medicines in medically compromised children

  • June H. Nunn
  • Salina K.F. Ng
  • Ian Sharkey
  • Malcolm Coulthard


Objective: Liquid oral medicines form a significant proportion (11%) of the medicines used by the population as a whole, either prescribed or over the counter. The active agent, as well as some of the other ingredients, can pose a threat to oral health. Method: Eight liquid oral medicines and two effervescent preparations routinely prescribed for long‐term use by paediatric renal patients were assessed for titratable acidity and pH values. Results: All of the medicines tested were acidic and the majority were well below the critical pH of 5.5 at which enamel demineralisation takes place. The titratable acidity values, at a pH of 6.7, ranged between 0.01 and 1.54 for the liquid preparations but were 8.4 and 10.6 for the two effervescent tablets tested. Conclusion: Surplus acid in effervescent preparations while ensuring palatability of medicines and thus compliance, may produce unwanted dental side effects in children who are already medically compromised.

Acidic medicines Children Dental health Erosion Medically compromised 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • June H. Nunn
    • 1
  • Salina K.F. Ng
    • 1
  • Ian Sharkey
    • 1
  • Malcolm Coulthard
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Child Dental HealthSchool of DentistryNewcastle upon TyneUK
  2. 2.Children's Kidney Unit, Royal Victoria InfirmaryNewcastle upon TyneUK

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