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CHILDREN'S LIQUID MEDICATION DOSING

 CHILDREN'S LIQUID MEDICATION DOSING
 WASHINGTON, Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The Food and Drug


Administration (FDA) today warned parents against inadvertent overdosing of children with liquid non-prescription medications for colds and flu.
 Dose cups often cap the bottles of these medications, providing a convenient measure, but FDA cited instances in which parents either misread the dose cup markings or misread the directions, providing children with several times the recommended dosage.
 Even seemingly small doses of the common painkiller acetaminophen -- if over the recommended amount -- can be dangerous, if given over a period of several days, FDA said.
 "If the label says to give two teaspoons every four hours, that's the amount the child should get at the prescribed intervals," said FDA Commissioner David A. Kessler, M.D. He also urged parents to read ingredient labels carefully, so they don't provide the same ingredient in two medications.
 "If the condition worsens or fails to improve, the child should be seen by a physician," Kessler said. "If parents have any questions about the proper dose of a medication, they should consult their pharmacist or physician."
 The FDA said these precautions are particularly pertinent now when influenza is being reported nationwide in epidemic proportions.
 The potential problem of accidentally overdosing children with acetaminophen came to light when FDA received a report of a child who had inadvertently been given three times the intended dose. The child's parents, using a "dose cup" packaged with the drug, measured to the "two tablespoon" level marked on the cup, instead of giving the "two teaspoon" dose that was recommended in the drug's labeling. There was no "two teaspoon" measurement on the cup.
 In FDA's follow-up of this incident, additional reports of dosing errors involving medicine cups began to surface. As a result, FDA began a survey of OTC liquid medication makers to ensure that the labeling of all these products is compatible with their dose cups and that the cups are easily readable.
 In cooperation with FDA, the Nonprescription Drug Manufacturers Association and the Private Label Manufacturers Association (trade organizations representing OTC drug manufacturers) have asked member and non-member companies to review OTC liquid products packaged with dispensing or dose cups and to take appropriate action based on FDA concerns.
 Though no serious injuries have been reported involving dose cups, two manufacturers have undertaken voluntary recalls of products packaged with dose cups found to be incompatible with labeling instructions or of poor quality.
 The FDA is one of the eight Public Health Service agencies within HHS.
 -0- 1/21/92
 /CONTACT: Faye Peterson of the Food and Drug Administration, 301-443-1130 or, after hours, 301-596-9639/ CO: Food and Drug Administration ST: District of Columbia IN: MTC SU:


DC -- DC031 -- 2084 01/21/92 17:04 EST
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Jan 21, 1992
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