Buccal Medicines: Giving Buccal Medicines

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A buccal medicine is a medicine given between the gums and the inner lining of the mouth cheek. This area is called the buccal pouch. Medicine is usually given in the buccal area when it is needed to take effect quickly or when the child is not conscious. This lets the medicine get absorbed through the tissue that lines the mouth and go straight into the bloodstream. Buccal medicines should help symptoms within 5 to 10 minutes.


  • If your child is allergic to the prescribed medicine or anything in it, he or she should not take the medicine.
  • If a patient thinks she might be pregnant, she should tell the doctor before taking any medicine.
  • If a patient is breast-feeding, she should tell her doctor before taking any medicine.Some medicines can pass into breast milk and cause side effects in the baby.
  • Do not crush, break, chew, or swallow medicines given through the buccal route. This can cause the medicine not to work and may cause unwanted side effects.

How to Give

  • Read the label carefully.Make sure you are giving your child the right dose. It is easy to confuse the many different dosage forms and strengths.V274 Buccal Medicines  Giving
  • For liquid medicines given by the buccal route use an oral syringe from the pharmacy. Do not use a spoon.
  • For lozenges, tablets, or dissolvable films, take the medicine out of any film or package using dry hands. If medicine is not meant to dissolve, have the child spit it out after the appropriate amount of time.
  • Wash and dry your hands before and after handling the medicine.
  • Pull back one side of the child’s mouth so you can see the inner cheek. Put the medicine between the gum and inner cheek (Picture 1).
  • The child should stay still until the medicine is completely absorbed. If he or she cannot hold the medicine, or if the medicine is a liquid, position the child on the side so one of the cheeks is facing down. Then, put the medicine in the cheek lying flat.
  • It is important to keep a record of when the medicine is given. Use a calendar or Helping Hand HH-V-1: Medication Record.

If You Forget to Give a Dose

If you forget to give a dose of the medicine, give it as soon as possible. However, if the missed dose is within 6 hours of the next due dose, do not give the missed dose at all. Do not double the next dose.  Instead, go back to your regular dosing schedule. If you have any questions about this, check with your child's doctor or pharmacist.

Storing Medicine

Store all medicine out of the reach of children.

  • Always keep medicine in the original bottle from the pharmacy.
  • Ask your pharmacist whether the medicine should be kept in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
  • Light and moisture can cause medicine not to work as well. Keep the bottle tightly closed.Store it in a dark, dry place (not in the bathroom or above the kitchen sink).
  • Keep the medicine away from heat or direct sunlight.
  • Do not use the medicine after the expiration date printed on the container.

Possible Side Effects

  • Irritation of gums and inner cheek is a possible side effect.

When to Call for Emergency Help

  • Stay and watch your child after giving the medicine. Call for emergency help if:
    • Your child has any of these signs of an allergic reaction: trouble breathing, swelling of the tongue, swelling of hands, feet, or ankles, rash.
    • Your child does not respond to the medicine as expected within the given time frame if medicine is used as an emergency medicine.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your child's doctor if your child has lingering or very bothersome side effects.

Buccal Medicines: Giving Buccal Medicines (PDF)

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