Changes being made to prevent overdoses of pain medications in infants and children.
According to the Associated Press, Johnson & Johnson and other makers of cold and fever medications say they will discontinue infant drops of medicines containing acetaminophen in an effort to avoid confusion that can lead to dangerous overdoses.
The industry association for over-the-counter medicine companies says its members will only sell a single formula for all children under the age of 12. Currently, J&J and other companies sell infant formulations that contain half the amount of acetaminophen as that found in regular children’s formula.
This is in connection with The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s guidance for liquid OTC drug products with dispensing devices this week.
Key recommendations in the guidance include:
- Dosage delivery devices should be included for all orally ingested OTC liquid drug products.
- Devices should be marked with calibrated units of liquid measurement (e.g., teaspoon, tablespoon, or milliliter) that are the same as the units of liquid measure specified in the directions for the product and there should not be any unnecessary markings.
- Manufacturers should ensure that dosage delivery devices are used only with the products they are packaged with.
- Liquid measure markings on dosage delivery devices should be clearly visible and not obscured when the liquid product is added to the device.
According to the FDA, parents and caregivers should follow 10 tips when giving medicine to an infant or child:
1. Always read and follow the Drug Facts label on your OTC medicine.
2. Know the ‘active ingredient’ in your child’s medicine.
3. Give the right medicine, in the right amount, to your child.
4. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse to find out what mixes well and what doesn’t.
5. Use the dosing tool that comes with the medicine, such as a dropper or a dosing cup.
6. Know the difference between a tablespoon and a teaspoon.
7. Know your child’s weight.
8. Prevent a poison emergency by always using a child-resistant cap.
9. Store all medicines in a safe place.
10. Check the medicine three times.