Acid Reflux: Is the Medication Worse Than the Condition? FLAVORx Finds the Solution.

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FLAVORx has developed formulations to successfuly flavor the most common acid reflux medications. Beyond just flavoring the commercially available forms, FLAVORx has developed methods to provide safer and more effective liquid solutions to treat reflux symptoms.

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The sleepless nights, the pain and helplessness of a young child dealing with severe reflux are absolutely heartbreaking. As a parent, it’s exhausting. As a company, I knew we needed to, and hoped that we would successfully be able to, do something to help these kids and parents worldwide.

If you suffer from acid reflux you are in good company; Ashlee Simpson, John Elway, Joss Stone, Sam Donaldson, Jim Palmer, President Bill Clinton and President George Bush, all have acid reflux. Reflux sufferers have long endured not only the pain and discomfort of reflux symptoms, but also unpleasant and chalky, alcohol-heavy, strong peppermint-flavored medicine concoctions used to control the condition. Thankfully, FLAVORx Inc, the company that has specialized in developing medicinal flavorings for over 10 years, has made adjustments to accommodate commercially available liquid reflux medications that keep them safe and effective but are much more taste bud-friendly and less traumatic going down. Acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are conditions that commonly affect adults, but are also seen in children (Rosie O'Donnell's son, and Celine Dion's son both suffer from acid reflux) and more specifically, infants. Reflux is extremely common in premature babies, and children with cystic fibrosis, muscular or neurological problems and conditions such as Down’s syndrome. The good news is that over 90% of children afflicted with reflux will eventually outgrow it. But until they do, FLAVORx is committed to providing a palatable and successful solution to the bitter and stinging taste sensation of commerically available medications.

The definition of “reflux” is the splashing or pushing of stomach contents backwards into the esophagus (and sometimes mouth and nose). This is the result of weakened muscle tissue surrounding the esophagus and stomach that allow stomach contents to flow backward. The most common complaint is heartburn, but other symptoms include vomiting, coughing, wheezing, recurrent pneumonia and even difficulty gaining weight. In infants, reflux is typically the result of an immature or underdeveloped digestive system. For older children and adults, gastrointestinal problems are typically associated with lifestyle choices such as improper diet, lack of exercise, smoking and excessive alcohol intake. Medications to neutralize stomach acid include antacids (Mylanta and Maalox), H2 acid blockers (Tagamet, Zantac and Pepcid) and enzyme-blocking proton-pump inhibitors (Prevacid, Prilosec, Nexium and Axid).

Zantac, one of the most popular H2 acid blockers, is available commercially in a syrup that is specifically beneficial to babies and children who can't swallow tablets. However, Zantac syrup contains 7.5% alcohol (common alcoholic beverages like beer contain between 5-7%), a high level for children, and even some adults, especially if taking multiple doses. In addition, the active ingredient, Ranitidine HCl, has a very bitter taste and sulfur-like odor, which are both masked with a strong peppermint flavor that unfortunately carries an extremely powerful and stinging taste and sensation, especially to young palates.

After receiving many calls from parents regarding flavoring for Zantac syrup, FLAVORx retreated to its laboratories to study what flavors would pair best. Its strong peppermint flavor and high alcohol content made it difficult to work with so FLAVORx came up with a new solution. From Zantac tablets, FLAVORx researchers created a suspension using FLAVORx’s proprietary Sweetening Enhancer to make a sweet and sugar-free vehicle to cover up the bitter taste of the Ranitidine HCl. This suspension is easily manipulated to pair successfully with a multitude of flavors, including grape, raspberry and bubblegum.

Through further testing, FLAVORx researchers found that alkaline flavors such as grape and bubblegum retain the integrity and work best in proton-pump inhibitors such as Prevacid and Prilosec while the Sweetening Enhancer decreases bitterness and saltiness. Depending on the vehicles and excipients used, the suspension is stable if kept in the refrigerator for 14 days without fear of decrease in efficacy.

Because FLAVORx President and CEO, Kenny Kramm experienced the burdens of GERD with his youngest daughter Hadley, he was particularly dedicated to finding the right solutions to treat acid reflux. “The sleepless nights, the pain and helplessness of a young child dealing with severe reflux are absolutely heartbreaking. As a parent, it’s exhausting. As a company, I knew we needed to, and hoped that we would successfully be able to, do something to help these kids and parents worldwide.”

To express your opinions on reflux treatment, take the Acid Reflux and GERD survey by clicking on http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=907031756479. To learn more about acid reflux or GERD, visit http://www.reflux.org, an online resource for parents and children.

For FLAVORx information visit http://www.flavorx.com or please contact Teresa Chen at 800.884.5771, extension 234.

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