Drug-Resistant Bacteria MRSA on the Rise in Southern Communities -- Doctors Report Increase in Clindamycin Prescriptions

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The once common hospital infection, MRSA, has begun to appear in communities in the southern regions of the United States. This drug-resistant staph bacteria can be particularly difficult to treat because of its resistance to multiple antibiotics. However, pediatricians and pharmacists are still able to rely on clindamycin (Cleocin) to treat these skin infections in children. The addition of a flavoring system such as FLAVORx can be used to ensure adherence to drug regimens for young patients.

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Making sure that children get the medications they need is important for two main reasons. First, you're able to fight off the current infection and symptoms. Second, by finishing the complete drug regimen, you are decreasing the possibilities for more drug-resistant strains to emerge.

MRSA or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, has been rapidly spreading across the United States. It is the most common skin infection in US cities and affects about 2 million people annually with a treatment price tag of roughly $20 billion. FLAVORx reports show that pediatricians, particularly in the southern half of the US, have seen a recent up-tick in the number of these drug-resistant staph bugs outside of the hospital setting where MRSA is typically found. To treat MRSA, pediatricians often prescribe clindamycin, however they are concerned that the medication’s palatability may be a barrier in achieving drug adherence in young patients. As such, FLAVORx has ramped up its efforts to partner with physicians and pharmacists on the flavoring processes of both generic and brand name antibiotics used to treat MRSA.

MRSA is the most common drug-resistant bacteria in North America, Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and East Asia. This drug-resistant strain was first seen in hospitals, where there was more exposure to different antibiotics. According to the Centers for Disease Control, hospital infections kill 92,000 people a year. The commonality of the MRSA strain soon began to spread outside the hospital setting, leading to a so-called “community-acquired MRSA,” which has become the number one cause for emergency room visits for skin infections. Even more startling, community varieties are commonly labeled “flesh-eating bacteria” because they tend to contain the gene for Panton-Valentine leukocidin which causes skin and soft tissue infections and has also been linked to infections of the internal organs and joints, toxic shock syndrome and severe pneumonia. Left untreated, MRSA can invade the bloodstream and cause fatal infections. Health care officials also worry that MRSA will continue to become more and more virulent and increasingly resistant to even the latest advances in antibiotic therapy.

Recent FLAVORx reports show that pediatricians and pharmacists in southern states such as Tennessee, Georgia and Texas are seeing increased cases of MRSA in their communities. Pediatricians commonly prescribe clindamycin (Cleocin) for children to treat MRSA. However, as a liquid suspension, its bitter taste and pungent smell makes it difficult for many young patients to swallow. As such, pharmacists in these states have noted Cleocin as one of the most commonly flavored prescriptions. FLAVORx is the medicinal flavoring system used by the majority of these pharmacies that provides the necessary taste-masking agents and concentrated medicinal flavorings to combat the medication’s existing taste and foul smell. Not only does the improved taste reduce the struggles associated with swallowing bitter medications, but also makes adherence more achievable for young patients. Studies show that improving the taste and smell of a medication can improve compliance by decreasing skipped doses and the propensity to end treatment programs early, as well as increase the overall quality of life for pediatric patients.

According to Kenny Kramm, FLAVORx President and CEO, “Making sure that children get the medications they need is important for two main reasons. First, you're able to fight off the current infection and symptoms. Second, by finishing the complete drug regimen, you are decreasing the possibilities for more drug-resistant strains to emerge.” Failing to adhere completely to drug regimens and doctor instructions allows the bacteria to become resistant to low levels of a medication, providing the strain with an opportunity to build more resistance genes. For clindamycin, FLAVORx recommends flavors such as Orange, Lemon and Grapeade to mask the existing taste.


FLAVORx is a pharmaceutical flavoring system used by pharmacists and veterinarians nationwide to improve the palatability of liquid over-the-counter and prescription medications. To date, FLAVORx has flavored over 40 million prescriptions without any incidence of allergy, adverse reaction or changes in efficacy. FLAVORx flavors are non-allergenic, dye-free, sugar-free, phosphate-free and alcohol-free, making them safe for all patients. With over 42 flavors ranging from Bubblegum and Watermelon to Chocolate Silk Pie and Peaches ‘n Cream, FLAVORx is sure to please any taste bud whether it’s a child or an adult. In addition, 16 animal-inspired flavors such as Crispy Bacon and Salmon Steak help medications go down a little easier for FLAVORx’s veterinary friends as well.

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


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