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J Pediatr. 2014 Mar;164(3):596-601.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.11.007. Epub 2013 Dec 22.

Communicating doses of pediatric liquid medicines to parents/caregivers: a comparison of written dosing directions on prescriptions with labels applied by dispensed pharmacy.

Author information

  • 1University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA; McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Fort Washington, PA. Electronic address: shah.rita10@gmail.com.
  • 2University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA; McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Fort Washington, PA.
  • 3McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Fort Washington, PA.
  • 4University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To identify and compare volumetric measures used by healthcare providers in communicating dosing instructions for pediatric liquid prescriptions to parents/caregivers.

STUDY DESIGN:

Dosing instructions were retrospectively reviewed for the 10 most frequently prescribed liquid medications dispensed from 4 community pharmacies for patients aged ≤ 12 years during a 3-month period. Volumetric measures on original prescriptions (ie, milliliters, teaspoons) were compared with those utilized by the pharmacist on the pharmacy label dispensed to the parent/caregiver.

RESULTS:

Of 649 prescriptions and corresponding pharmacy labels evaluated, 68% of prescriptions and 62% of pharmacy labels communicated dosing in milliliters, 24% of prescriptions and 29% of pharmacy labels communicated dosing in teaspoonfuls, 7% of prescriptions and 0% of pharmacy labels communicated dosing in other measures (ie, milligrams, cubic centimeters, "dose"), and 25% of dispensed pharmacy labels did not reflect units as written in the prescription.

CONCLUSION:

Volumetric measures utilized by healthcare professionals in dosing instructions for prescription pediatric oral liquid medications are not consistent. Healthcare professionals and parents/caregivers should be educated on safe dosing practices for liquid pediatric medications. Generalizability to the larger pediatric population may vary depending on pharmacy chain, location, and medications evaluated.

Copyright © 2014 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
24367987
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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