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Big Changes to Infant Medication

When your child is sick there is nothing you won’t do to make him or her feel better. Even when my daughter is well I make sure that I have certain medications in my cabinet for those unexpected fevers or raspy coughs. Now there are some big changes being made to infant acetaminophen. As a student in a pharmacy technician university, it is important to stay abreast of the ever changing drug dosages.

According to Sam Warren, news writer for Babycenter.com, “new, less concentrated version of infant acetaminophen is hitting store shelves across the United States. This new formulation will completely replace the old version in most stores by early 2012. U.S. drug manufacturers are making the change to reduce the risk of potentially fatal overdoses from this common baby pain reliever.”

Apparently the infant formula was much more concentrated than the older child’s counterpart and several parents gave an overdose to their child. “A teaspoon of concentrated drops, for instance, delivers three times as much acetaminophen as a teaspoon of the children’s liquid,” explains Warren.

To remedy this confusion, the manufacturers of infant acetaminophen aren’t changing the amount of the effective ingredients in their dosage, just the amount of fluid given.

However, Warren reminds that “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not allow manufacturers to provide dosage recommendations for children under age 2 on the bottles or packaging. In May 2011, an advisory committee recommended changing this policy — but the FDA has not yet done so, and the old policy is still in effect, at least for now.”

Personally I think that not putting dosage directions for children under two is just as dangerous as having a different concentration of medication for toddler and children’s medications. Parents with sick kids are still going to try to adjust the dosing to fit their child’s needs.

A final FYI: “The old version of infant acetaminophen is a concentrated form of the medicine administered with a dropper. To recognize it, look for a dropper top and for this concentration on the bottle: 80 mg/0.8 mL. The bottle will be labeled ‘concentrated drops’ or something similar.

“The new version of infant acetaminophen is a less concentrated form of the medicine. To recognize it, look for the syringe (not a dropper) and for this concentration on the bottle: 160 mg/5 mL.”

Getting pharmacy technician training is exciting, detailed and extremely interesting. The more you know, the better you will be able to help those who need your advice!

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