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A Teaspoon or Tablespoon of Prevention?

Liquid medicine bottle

A new study released in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) calls attention to the difficulties parents have giving the proper dose of medication to their child.

The study looked at over-the-counter medications that came packaged with a measuring device.  Out of 148 medications included in the study, 146 of them had inconsistencies with the provided dosing instructions. These inconsistencies include missing markings, excessive markings, differing units of measurement, and non-standard abbreviations. For example, one medication gives dosing instructions in tablespoons, but the provided measuring cup is labeled in “tsp.”

Rather than making parents convert tablespoons to teaspoons, drug manufacturers need to design instructions and measuring devices that are 1) consistent and 2) user-friendly in order to ensure medications are used correctly—particularly for children.

Read the full article in JAMA.

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