LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A couple of liters of water, shake in a package of Normalyte and drink.
The taste is a bit salty, a bit sweet with a hint of orange.
That is the short description of a brand new product created by a Louisville pharmacist. In 2013 when Sam and Jamie Lee’s son was sick, dehydrated and refused Pedialyte, Sam Lee started searching for something else to rehydrate him.
He said, “I tried to go out there and buy something for him but it wasn’t anywhere. So that was my aha moment. As a pharmacist, it was like this needs to be available to everybody.”
The need gave birth to Normalyte, a mixture of glucose, sodium and potassium which Lee says was recently approved by the FDA as an oral rehydration salt.
He said, “It replenishes all the lost electrolytes when you sweat or you have excessive diarrhea or vomiting. It actually pushes water into your muscles and your cells. It works on two different fashions.”
Lee says those properties make it perfect for people in underdeveloped countries suffering from all types of terrible diseases, even ebola.
Normalyte was been sent to Sierra Leone by the international medical nonprofit, Project Hope. When contacted by WHAS11 news a spokesperson for Project Hope said in an email statement:
I cannot tell you if the Normalyte project has been effective because in some cases we hand over donated medicines and supplies to the Ministry of Health in the country hit by a health crisis and these health officials distribute to people in need. We do not follow up with clinical studies on patients. I can tell you that the Sierra Leone ministry of health was happy to receive the donated Normalyte product.
For now, most of the Normalyte supply is at three local pharmacies including St. Matthews Community Pharmacy where the owner recommends it to his elderly customers who often become dehydrated.
Pharmacy owner Chris Harlow says, “The options (for them) are either hospital or the sports drink that really aren't great because they're so full of sugar.”
Lee says, there’s yet another rehydrating use for Normalyte.
It’s not nearly as noble but often needed.
He tells me, “It's a quick and easy way to get over a hangover.”