Scientists are using 3D printers to deliver safer medicine tablets for children
Hydrocortisone is one of the many medicines that cause problems for children and their parents. Not necessarily because of its side-effects, but because they tend only to be available in 10 mg or 20 mg tablets. While adults can generally take two or three whole 10 mg tablets a day, kids can’t. Medical guides state that children should take “0.4 to 0.8 mg a day, for every kilogram of your child’s weight in two or three separate does”. It is left to parents, therefore, to measure how much their child needs and hack each 10 mg tablet into pieces a few millimeters in size. This can be a serious problem as chopping tablets into such small pieces tends to make the tablets crumble, which makes it extremely difficult to get an accurate dose. To solve this problem, researchers are turning to 3D printers that can produce tablets containing the exact dosage that a particular child needs. Thus far, tests have been encouraging, leading researchers to believe they could be administering 3D-printed tablets containing active medication to children who need it. Those pills will contain a precise dose of an active drug to fight illness, in a size and shape (and maybe even a color or flavor) selected by the young patient. If successful, these 3D-printed pills will provide a major solution to one of medicine’s biggest issues. READ MORE
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