Stop spoon dosing

You grab for the cough syrup for some relief from that nasty lingering cold, what do you measure the dose with? Many of us use teaspoons or table spoons to measure out doses for ourselves and our children but this results in dosage errors. This new study finds that errors in estimating doses can be mitigated by changing the serving measurements on the dosage facts panel from teaspoons to milliliters.

A previous study by authors Koert van Ittersum, PhD at the University of Groningen (The Netherlands) and Brian Wansink, PhD of Cornell University found that when individuals use teaspoons to measure medicine they tend to under-serve by 8.4% and when using table spoons they over-serve by 11.6%.

For this study, Van Ittersum and Wansink proposed that by writing the Drug Facts and dosage information in milliliters, which are more difficult to estimate visually, people would choose more accurate measuring devices to measure out doses and would be less likely to make dosage errors. Of the 177 young adults that participated in this study, 34.5% reported using kitchen spoons most frequently to measure medicine. The researchers found that when these study participants were given dosage information in teaspoons 60.9% chose a teaspoon to measure with while none of them chose the milliliter measuring cup. However, when the dosage recommendation was given in milliliters the teaspoon and the measuring cup were equally popular among this group. These results indicate that the risk of dosage error decreases by around 50% by simply changing the recommended units of measurement from tea spoons to milliliters.

"When measuring medicine for ourselves or our children, we often use regular kitchen spoons but they are not accurate measuring instruments," explains lead author Koert van Ittersum, "While we feel that we can estimate teaspoon doses, milliliters are much harder to estimate visually, therefore people are more likely to use accurate measuring spoons or cups when given dosage information in milliliters."

In conclusion, the authors recommend that the US Food and Drug Administration mandates that the pharmaceutical industry not use teaspoons on Drug Facts and dosing information. They also emphasize the importance of not spoon-dosing at home, instead using the measuring cups that typically come with liquid medicine.

Most Popular Now

Novartis confirms 5 year data for first and only f…

Novartis, a global leader in Immunology & Dermatology, confirmed today positive 5 year efficacy and safety results for Cosentyx® from a Phase III long-term extension stud...

FDA approves Rituxan Hycela (rituximab and hyaluro…

Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced today that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Rituxan Hycela™ (rituximab and hyaluronidase human) for subcuta...

Merck Foundation established

Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced the establishment of the Merck Foundation. Through this foundation Merck combines many of its corporate r...

Researchers develop microneedle patch for flu vacc…

A National Institutes of Health-funded study led by a team at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University has shown that an influenza vaccine can produce rob...

Novartis Phase III study shows ACZ885 (canakinumab…

Novartis today announced topline results from the global Phase III CANTOS study investigating the efficacy, safety and tolerability of ACZ885 (canakinumab) in combination...

Jardiance® (empagliflozin) analysis reinforces est…

An analysis of pooled safety data from 15 studies plus 4 extension studies involving more than 12,500 adults with type 2 diabetes demonstrated treatment with Jardiance® (...

Alzheimer's and Parkinson's spurred by same enzyme

Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease are not the same. They affect different regions of the brain and have distinct genetic and environmental risk factors. But at ...

Does the emperor have clothes?

Discovered more than two decades ago, the hormone leptin has been widely hailed as the key regulator of leanness. Yet, the pivotal experiments that probe the function of ...

Researchers publish new findings on influence of h…

Poor diet is associated with 80% of colorectal cancer cases, but the exact pathways by which diet leads to cancer are not known. In a newly published study, Cleveland Cli...

Merck awards €1.25 million to research projects th…

Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced its commitment to award €1.25 million to research projects in the field of fertility, supporting the adva...

Trials show unique stem cells a potential asthma t…

A study led by scientists at Monash University has shown that a new therapy developed through stem cell technology holds promise as a treatment for chronic asthma. The Mo...

FDA tackles drug competition to improve patient ac…

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is taking two new, important steps to increase competition in the market for prescription drugs and facilitate entry of lower...

Pharmaceutical Companies

[ A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Z ]