If children are given an improper dosage of certain medications, not only will the medication not work, the child may get sick or even die. It is thus essential that parents give their children the dosage of medicine exactly as instructed by their doctor or pharmacist. The Tylenol and Motrin dosage chart we provide can help you give your child the correct amounts of these commonly used pain and fever reducers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 30% and 50% of the failure of chronic disease treatment and as many as 125,000 deaths in the United States each year occur because patients do not get the proper dosage of their medication. To prevent this, the CDC says patients should always ask their doctor or pharmacist for clear dosage instructions.
The Right Dosage
Determining and administering the right dosage of your child’s medication is vital. Dosage decisions for children are based on several factors, including the child’s age, weight, symptoms and how long the child has been ill.
With psychoactive medication, doctors often start with a low dose, monitor the child and increase the size and frequency of the medication. It’s essential parents follow the dosage prescribed by their doctor. This is the only way doctors can get an accurate understanding of the impact the medication is having on the child and if it needs to be adjusted or changed.
In an attempt to save money, some parents use generic versions of the medication their doctor prescribed. However, the drug administration warns that parents should not use generic versions of any prescription medication unless instructed to by their doctor or pharmacist.
Choosing to purchase and use a generic medication from the pharmacy without the guidance of their pharmacist or doctor can have an adverse effect on the child. It can be ineffective, or worse, may cause the child to get sicker. Be sure to ask the doctor at the time of your appointment if there is a less expensive, generic version of the prescription medicine that is just as effective.
When some parents miss giving their child a dose of the medication as prescribed, they attempt to make up for it by giving the child two doses the next time the medication is due. This can be dangerous. Doubling the dose can sometimes do serious damage to the health of the child.
If you miss the right time to administer a dose of your child’s medication, call our office or a pharmacist immediately for advice. Often the doctor or pharmacist will simply recommend giving the child their next dose of medication at the appropriate time and maintaining the same dosage and schedule, but it’s important to be sure.
Maintaining The Medication Schedule
When a doctor designs a schedule for giving a child medication, the goal is to ensure a particular amount of the medication stays in the child’s system until the desired results are achieved. Parents must maintain the proper dosing schedule to prevent the child from having too much or too little medication in their system, which can make the child sicker or worse. If the parent follows a strict dosing schedule, the child will receive the medicine they need when they need it and get optimal results.
Unpleasant Side Effects
When a child initially begins taking a strong medication, the potential exists that unpleasant side effects may develop. It’s important for parents to monitor their children closely when beginning a new round of medication and to tell their physician if the child has any side effects. This gives the physician an opportunity to adjust the dose of the medication if needed. Be sure to pay close attention to your sick child and report any unusual pains or symptoms to the physician promptly.
Impact Of Dosage Problems
Some doctors use a process called titration in which they adjust the dosage over a period of weeks or months and monitor the child’s response. Parents must watch the child closely to ensure their condition doesn’t worsen. When administering oral medication, parents should purchase a measuring tool at the pharmacy to ensure liquid medicine is measured accurately. Giving children too much or not enough medication can do irreparable harm.
As you can see, making sure that medications have the desired effect and that they don’t do more harm than good is the responsibility of both the parents and the pediatrician. Northwoods Pediatric Center is here to answer any questions you have about your child’s symptoms or medications, so be sure to contact us whenever necessary.