Medication Dosage

Friday, July 23, 2010

People who use kitchen spoons to measure medicine typically end up with doses that are either too big or too small. Dr. Edward Hill discusses new research on medication dosage in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Using a kitchen spoon to measure liquid medicines may make it harder to get the right dosage.

A Cornell University study showed 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 most people still use spoons when pouring medicine for themselves and their families.

Researchers asked 195 university students who were recent patients of the university health clinic during cold and flu season to pour a 5 milliliter dose of cold medicine into various sizes of kitchen spoons.

The amount of cold medicine that the participants poured varied directly with the size of the spoon. They overdosed by 11 percent when using a larger spoon and underdosed by 8 percent when using a medium-sized spoon.

The results suggest that it is safer and much more effective to use a measuring cap, dosing spoon, measuring dropper or dosing syringe to dispense liquid medicine.

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