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Dosing Instructions for Children’s Medicines Confusing and Potentially Dangerous

The Los Angeles Times (12/1, Roan) reports that, according to a study published online Nov. 30 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, “many over-the-counter, liquid medications meant for children contain dosing instructions and measuring cups or droppers that rarely match each other and could confuse even the most careful parent or caretaker.” As a result, “this could easily lead to under- or over-dosing, with potentially dangerous consequences, researchers said.”

“Twenty-six percent of products had no dispensers, such as a cup or medicine dropper, forcing parents to measure out doses themselves,” USA Today (12/1, Szabo) reports. “But even products with dispensers had problems.” For example, “label instructions on 99% of these products conflicted with markings on the dispensing cup or dropper.”

Bloomberg News (12/1, Cortez) reports that last year, “the Food and Drug Administration issued voluntary industry guidelines for the labels on nonprescription liquid children’s medicines and measuring devices…after numerous overdoses were attributed to confusing labels.” The results of this new study, which was conducted by “Shonna Yin, a pediatrician at the New York University School of Medicine and Bellevue Hospital Center,” may now “be used to evaluate how well companies that make over-the-counter children’s medicines improve their products, the researchers said.”

The Time (11/30) “Healthland” blog reported, “To address the problems, the researchers call for change in three areas.” First, “a standardized measuring device should be included with all over-the-counter liquid medicines,” and “dosing directions on the label should align with markings on the associated measuring device.” Finally, “measurement units, abbreviations and numeric formats should be standardized for all products.”

From the American Association for Justice Press Release.

Bob Kraft

I am a Dallas, Texas lawyer who has had the privilege of helping thousands of clients since 1971 in the areas of Personal Injury law and Social Security Disability.

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The title of this blog reflects my attitude toward those government agencies and insurance companies that routinely mistreat injured or disabled people. As a Dallas, Texas lawyer, I've spent more than 45 years trying to help those poor folk, and I have been frustrated daily by the actions of the people on the other side of their claims. (Sorry if I offended you...)

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