A Reminder to Double-Check Acetaminophen Dosages

You probably heard the news in May when major manufacturers of liquid acetaminophen, who previously made different strengths of the medicine, agreed to switch to production of a single concentration of 160 mg/5 mL in an effort to reduce dosing errors and prevent accidental poisonings in infants. But because this change to a less-concentrated version was voluntary, not all manufactures have made the change, leading to some justified confusion. Now, the FDA is reminding consumers to carefully read labels of liquid acetaminophen marketed for infants.

To avoid giving the wrong dose to your child, make sure you know whether you’re giving the less-concentrated liquid acetaminophen or the older, more-concentrated version, and follow these guidelines from the FDA:

-Read the Drug Facts label on the package very carefully to identify the concentration of the liquid acetaminophen, the correct dosage, and the directions for use.
-Do not depend on a banner proclaiming that the product is “new.” Some medicines with the old concentration also have this headline on their packaging.
-Use only the dosing device provided with the purchased product in order to correctly measure the right amount of liquid acetaminophen.
-Consult your pediatrician before giving this medication and make sure you’re both talking about the same concentration. (If your M.D. prescribes a 5mL dose of the less-concentrated liquid acetaminophen, but you give your child 5mL of the older, more-concentrated medicine, your child could have a potentially fatal overdose.)                                                                                                                                                                          -Check with your pediatrician for dosing instructions for children under 2 years.

 

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