Budesonide, or Pulmicort, if you prefer, is an asthma medication. It comes in individual packets or respules dissolved in a couple of milliters of liquid that are meant to be used in a nebulizer specifically for inhalation to treat, well, asthma, of course. For eosinophilic esophagitis, the protocol is a bit different. You have to drink the stuff. To make it more palatable and stick-to-your-esophagus thick, GI specialists the world over have recommended mixing it with a few packets of Splenda to create a sickly sweet sludge-like consistency which is supposed to adhere to the esophagus walls, thus maximizing the effectiveness of the steroid. Anyone out there ever eat a whole packet of Splenda? How about five at a time?
A few months ago when we were first looking at a budesonide trial for Roo, we were dreading it. See, we were the teeniest bit skeptical that we could get this kid, who at age three, has yet to ingest a dose of Children's Tylenol successfully due to a hyper-sensitive gag reflex, to swallow five packets of Splenda mixed with medicine. Not once, but twice a day for eight weeks.
As I was hemming and hawing about how to make this happen, and whining just a bit perhaps about the unfairness of it all over the phone to my parents, my dad, Grampy to Roo, Bean, and Looly, devised his own brilliant solution. Sorbet. Roo can't get enough. It's thick, tangy, sweet but not too sweet, icy enough to dull the flavor, has few ingredients, and let's face it, way more fun to eat than Splenda. After one horrifically unsuccessful attempt with the Splenda, I nervously approached our GI team with Grampy's idea and to my surprise they agreed to let us try it. Roo literally ate it up. For what ended up being more than ten weeks due to scheduling difficulties with the scope.
And get this, as it turns out, our GI team is now passing along Grampy's new recommendation to other families starting on budesonide for EoE. Turns out sorbet is the new Splenda. And Grampy is the Man!