Josh is recovering from treatment for laryngeal cancer.

Case study | 02 Oct 2022

Laryngeal carcinoma

Laryngeal carcinoma is a relatively rare type of cancer that originates in the larynx mucosa. Most cancers of the larynx arise in the surface layer, the mucous membrane. They are called squamous cell carcinoma. Sometimes they involve another type of malignant tumor; they are not discussed further on this web page. Laryngeal cancer can cause a painful ulcer in the throat, pain, especially when swallowing, that sometimes radiates to the ears, hoarseness, tightness of the chest, or heavy, audible breathing that gets progressively worse, difficulty swallowing with weight loss, or swelling that occurs in the neck or pharynx.

Josh has problems swallowing his medication

Josh (age 35) is recovering from treatment for laryngeal cancer. After undergoing severe chemotherapy, he is now doing well but he has got a very weak immune system. In addition, his wife is currently suffering from severe flu. For this reason, his oncologist wants to prescribe Josh a treatment with oseltamivir to prevent him from getting the flu as well. “The last thing I want right now is to get the flu while I’ve just beaten cancer.”

The challenge

“Because of the cancer treatment, I am having problems swallowing.” He needs a liquid dosage form, which is not available as a licensed product in the right dosage strength for Josh. Also, Josh is experiencing retching when feeling an unpleasant bitter taste in his mouth. Oseltamivir has a bitter taste. And to make it even worse, Josh is suffering diarrhea and another gastrointestinal discomfort due to his cancer medication. “The medication available is not right for me and my body. But getting the flu from my wife would be even worse.”

The solution

With a focus on patients, prescribers, and pharmacists, Fagron offers unique solutions for people like Josh that add significant value in the individualized treatment of patients with special needs. His physician prescribed him SyrSpend® SF PH4, a medication available in cherry flavored and non cherry flavored, both with taste-masking capabilities to cover up the bitter taste of oseltamivir. “In this way, I don’t have to gag when I take the medicine.” And next to that, the low osmolality of SyrSpend® SF PH4 minimizes the risk of stomach distress and diarrhea. The preparation is free from alcohol, parabens, sorbitol, sugars, gluten, and colorants, and is also available as a preservative-free powder for reconstitution. “Now I am able to take the medicine, my energy level is improving, and I am eating more, and more solid food again. Last week my wife and I booked a holiday of our dreams to Hawaii, and we are looking forward to it. I am enjoying life again.”

Compounding

  • With SyrSpend® SF PH4 pharmacists can easily compound a 15 mg/ml oseltamivir suspension, based on oseltamivir capsules.
  • Stability tests have proven a 30 days stability of a suspension of SyrSpend® SF PH4 with oseltamivir.
  • A simple process of mixing the oseltamivir capsule contents with SyrSpend® SF PH4 enables the pharmacist to prepare a stable suspension.

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