Measuring Medicine

scottfiller_pillsIn a recent article by Fox News, imprecise measure measurements on certain medications could do more harm than good for you and your family and lead to potentially dangerous dosing mistakes. Results of this study have been posted in Pediatrics Magazine. In these results, experts say that people should use droppers and syringes for precise measurements rather than using spoons. In this study, 300 parents were involved with their children- mostly younger than 9 years old. The young children were treated for various illnesses in New York City hospitals and were sent home with prescriptions for liquid medicines.

Parents were afterwards contacted about the method they used to give their children the medication.  They later came in and demonstrated to doctors how they gave their children the medication. According to the results of the study- “50% were more likely to give their children incorrect doses than those who measured out with more precise devices- such as a dropper.”

Incorrect doses include too much and too little of the medication- and both can be equally as dangerous. Underdosing may not effectively treat an illness and can even lead to medication-resistant infections. On the other hand, overdosing on medication can cause illness and can be life-threatening. About one third of the parents gave the wrong dose and 1 in 6 used a kitchen spoon rather than a more precise device. According to the author: “Outreach is needed to promote the consistent use of millimeter units between prescriptions and bottle labels.”