Measuring Liquid Medicines

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Using a kitchen spoon to draw out a dose of liquid medicine may result in getting too much or too little of a medication. Dr. Edward Hill tells us about a study that looked at measuring liquid medicines in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Using a kitchen spoon to measure liquid medicines, like cough syrup or cold medicine, may make it harder to get the right dosage.

A new study shows that the amount of liquid medicine a person pours into a kitchen spoon depends on the size of the spoon and frequently leads to overdosing or underdosing.

The FDA recommends against using kitchen utensils to dose liquid medicines, but researchers say most people still use spoons when pouring medicine for themselves and their families.

In the study, researchers asked 195 university students to pour a 5 milliliter dose of cold medicine into various sizes of kitchen spoons.

The study showed the amount of cold medicine that the participants poured varied directly with the size of the spoon. They overdosed by 12 percent when using the larger spoon and underdosed by 8 percent when using the medium-sized spoon.

The results show that it is safer and much more effective to use a measuring cap or other dosing utensil to dispense liquid medicine than a kitchen spoon.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.