Measuring devices for children’s liquid medications

January 01, 0001

Measuring devices for children’s liquid medications

Concerns of use of many over the counter medications in children have been raised recently. These US researchers sought to determine the prevalence of inconsistent dosing directions and measuring devices in pediatric OTC medications. They performed a descriptive study of 200 top- selling pediatric oral liquid OTC medications in the US during 2009.

The researchers found: "Measuring devices were packaged with 148 of 200 products (74.0%). Within this subset of 148 products, inconsistencies between the medication's dosing directions and markings on the device were found in 146 cases (98.6%). These included missing markings (n = 36, 24.3%) and superfluous markings (n = 120, 81.1%). Across all products, 11 (5.5%) used atypical units of measurement (eg, drams, cc) for doses listed. Milliliter, teaspoon, and tablespoon units were used for doses in 143 (71.5%), 155 (77.5%), and 37 (18.5%) products, respectively. A nonstandard abbreviation for milliliter (not mL) was used by 97 products. Of the products that included an abbreviation, 163 did not define at least 1 abbreviation."

The researchers concluded: "At the time the FDA released its new guidance, top-selling pediatric OTC liquid medications contained highly variable and inconsistent dosing directions and measuring devices."

This study illustrates many problematic issued with measuring devices provided in over the counter children’s liquid medications.

For the full abstract, click here.

JAMA 304(23):2595-2602, 15 December 2010
© 2010 to the American Medical Association
Evaluation of Consistency in Dosing Directions and Measuring Devices for Pediatric Nonprescription Liquid Medications. Shonna Yin, Michael S. Wolf, Benard P. Dreyer, Lee M. Sanders, Ruth M. Parker.

Category: A. General/Unspecified. Keywords: measuring devices, liquid medications, measurements, units, overdose, descriptive study, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Paul Schaefer, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 4 January 2011

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