How to Make Cough Syrup Taste Better

Flavoring can help cough syrup taste better.
Flavoring can help cough syrup taste better. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Cough syrup, with it's distinct, mouth-puckering taste, is not something most people look forward to. Rather than grimace every time you have to medicate yourself, or engage in a battle of wills with your child who hates the taste of cough syrup, you can make it taste better. From a simple change in temperature to the addition of a flavoring, it's possible for you to make cough syrup a bit more palatable.

Things You'll Need

  • Refrigerator
  • Syringe
  • Flavoring

Ask your pharmacist if he can add flavoring -- such as vanilla, bubblegum or apple -- to the cough syrup to improve its taste. Some pharmacies offer this service for both prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Refrigerate the cough syrup to make it cold, which can improve the taste. Ask a pharmacist if refrigerating the medication will alter its effectiveness.

Place the cough syrup in a syringe to administer it to your child or yourself. Place the opening of the syringe on the inside of the person's cheek and release a little bit of the medication at a time. Swallow and repeat. There are no taste buds on the cheeks, so the unpleasant taste will be diminished.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your child is old enough, explain to him why he needs to take the cough syrup. Tell him it will make him stop coughing and help him rest.
  • When using a syringe to administer medicine, make sure you throw away the small cap, so it won't pose a choking hazard to any children you may have in your home.
  • Don't tell a child that the cough syrup -- or any medication -- is candy. This can cause the child to think she can have medication at any time, which could result in injury or death.

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