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Dosing Children's Pain Relievers Correctly

May 24, 2011, 5:15 PM by Kelli Grant

Dosing Children's Pain Relievers Correctly
SIOUX FALLS, SD - If you're a parent, you've probably wondered how much Tylenol is OK to give to an infant. That's because when it comes to dosing acetaminophen, there are no instructions for children under the age of 2. It's why the FDA is now stepping in to clear up any confusion.

They're the most widely sold drugs in the U.S. Yet over-the-counter medications like Children's Tylenol that help with fever and cutting teeth can be dangerous if given in the incorrect dose.

An FDA panel voted in favor of adding doses for children six months to two-years-old to over-the-counter formulas in hopes of making the medications safer and easier to use. Acetaminophen-related overdoses are most common among children younger than two, and according to the Food and Drug Administration, have increased over the past 10 years. Lewis Drug director of pharmacy, Bill Ladwig, says parents should dose their children by weight and most importantly use the correct measuring device.

“Part of the problem is using the wrong measuring device. Cups are terrible; the worst that you could use.  Spoons real close to it," Ladwig said.

Ladwig suggests asking your pharmacist for a measuring spoon, dropper or syringe to correctly dose the pain reliever.

“You can cause liver failure so it can be very consequential. And when you're a little person and you're new to medications, you don't wanna challenge them,” Ladwig said.

The FDA is not required to follow the recommendations of its advisory panels, but it often does.

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