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Pediatrics. 1996 Apr;97(4):506-11.

Carbohydrate and alcohol content of 200 oral liquid medications for use in patients receiving ketogenic diets.

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Children's Health Care-Minneapolis, MN 55404, USA.



The ketogenic diet is used in patients with intractable seizure disorders. To maintain a ketotic state, patients on this diet must maintain a strict low-carbohydrate intake. Because these patients often require medication, and because many pharmaceutical products (especially liquid formulations) contain significant quantities of carbohydrates, it is important that each drug product be evaluated before proceeding with the ketogenic diet. The purpose of this study was to compile the carbohydrate content of oral liquid products for patients on or considering a ketogenic diet.


A list of 200 oral liquid drug products and their manufacturers was compiled using the Children's Health Care-Minneapolis pharmacy purchasing database, the Physicians' Desk Reference, and previously published lists of oral liquid medications. Manufacturers were contacted either by telephone or by letter and asked specifically about the sucrose, fructose, sorbitol, glycerin, and alcohol content of these liquid formulations.


The carbohydrate and alcohol content of 200 oral liquid products was determined and shown in an accompanying table.


Many oral liquid medications contain significant amounts of carbohydrate. Tablet and capsule formulations are preferred when possible. To date, it has been difficult to quantify the carbohydrate content of liquid medications because of unavailability of this information. The carbohydrate content of 200 oral liquid medications is provided here to assist health care practitioners, patients, and care givers in designing drug regimens low in carbohydrates for patients on or considering a ketogenic diet.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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