2 September 2019 - Deborah Wilkes
Arkray USA has launched a gel for people who have trouble swallowing tablets, capsules and powders.
The company said Phazix was the "only OTC pill swallowing gel available in the US market".
Phazix is described by Arkray as a "thick, hyper-slippery smooth gel that allows for easy swallowing of tablets, capsules and powders". Users place approximately one teaspoon of the gel on a spoon along with one or more tablets.
Arkray said Phazix worked by moistening the mucous membranes in the mouth and throat cavity, allowing tablets to easily pass through to the stomach in the way the manufacturer intended.
"Unlike food carriers, such as apple sauce or pudding, that are commonly used to facilitate the swallowing of tablets," commented the company, "Phazix breaks down quickly in the stomach and does not affect the absorption rate of the medication."
Jonathan Chapman, president of Arkray USA, said difficulty swallowing medication was a "serious healthcare issue that affects millions of people of all ages in the US". He added that vomiting or choking on pills could be "traumatising".
Arkray pointed out that around 18 million adults – including the elderly and people with disabilities or neurological conditions – had trouble swallowing medicines. Furthermore, one in two parents had a child who was unable to swallow a standard-size pill, added the company.
Format of Phazix
Phazix, which has a vanilla flavour, is suitable for use by adults and by children aged two years and older.
Arkray said Phazix was "all natural", contained "more than 80% water", and adhered to the medication "from the mouth to the stomach". "Once the medication reaches the stomach," added the company, "Phazix quickly breaks away from the surface of the pill, allowing the medication to be digested as designed."
Phazix comes in a 2.5-ounce tube for consumers. Hospitals can purchase single-dose stick packs in 25-count packs.
Arkray USA is a division of the Japanese company Arkray, which specialises in clinical diagnostics including diabetes monitoring.