New Guidelines Aimed at Reducing Overdoses of OTC Medicines
Sue Hubbard, M.D.
Are you confused about over-the-counter liquid medication dosages? You're not alone. The good news is, changes are coming.
In previous studies, numerous medication errors had been reported, as many liquid OTC products did not come with appropriate dosing devices, or even consistent dosing directions. This led to a lot of confusion among parents, caregivers, even doctors and nurses. There have been numerous medication errors, which at times had serious consequences.
-- Over-the-counter products taken by mouth should come with dispensing devices for specific dosages. The devices should be marked with calibrated units of measurement that will match the units of measurement on the medication label (teaspoon, tablespoon, milliliters).
-- The dispensing devices should be only used with the specified product (I would tape the device to the appropriate bottle if necessary to prevent confusion).
-- The measured markings should be clearly visible when the liquid medication is poured in, and there should not be any other marking on the device
At about the same time, the
The current single ingredient acetaminophen (Tylenol name brand), which is 160mg/5ml, will become the only liquid concentration for children under the age of 12. These products will also come with age-appropriate dosing devices, including syringes and dosing cups for different-aged children.
So, the picture should be a little clearer with these guidelines and there should be fewer errors with dosing, especially for blurry-eyed parents in the middle of the night.
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