Why Learning About Medication Dosages Can Save Your Life
Each time you take a medication, you’re taking a risk if you’re not paying attention to the dosages. Even adults can suffer serious complications from taking a little too much cough syrup or one extra pill. You don’t want to put your health at risk, so it’s important to learn about medication dosages.
The dosages for each medication are special and unique. Read every label before taking any type of drug.
Learn the facts:
1. Research findings. A recent study published in Pediatrics found that dosing issues are more common than many people assume.
- Researchers studied 2,100 parents as they measured liquid medication such as cough syrup with different devices.
- They found that 84 percent of the parents made at least one mistake.
- This is a serious concern since parents are in charge of measuring medications for themselves and their children. The study showed it’s easy to make a mistake, but most parents didn’t even realize they made one.
2. Most common dosage mistakes. The mistakes can vary from household to household, but there are some common patterns.
- One of the biggest mistakes is not reading the label carefully.
- Many adults simply glance at the label without reading the tiny print, or they ignore it completely. They assume they know how much medicine they need based on prior experiences, or things they heard from others.
- Another common mistake is using the wrong device to measure or administer the medication. This is very common with liquid drugs like cough syrup. It’s best to use the measuring cups that come with the medication.
- You don’t want to assume that your giant soup spoon is good enough for a dosing requirement that asks for a teaspoon or a tablespoon. It’s important to pay attention to these medication details. Otherwise, you run the risk of measuring too much or too little of the medicine.
3. Dosage mistake consequences. If you make a mistake with the dosage, the consequences can range from serious to fatal.
- Too much medication can be fatal, and you may end up in the hospital or have organ damage.
- Too little medication can also be an issue because you may not be able to treat your illness effectively. You may think you’re taking enough drugs, but in reality, you are missing out.
4. Tips to avoid mistakes. There are also other steps you can take to prevent errors:
- First, if you’re confused about dosages, then talk to your doctor.
- You can also talk to your pharmacist and ask for advice. Ask for help before you start overdosing or under-dosing at home.
- Most medications bought over-the-counter have a toll free number you can call. If you’re confused, try to use it.
- Many hospitals have on-call nurses you can call for free.
- You can also try to use the internet for advice, but you must be careful about the sites you visit and the information you trust. Focus on legitimate sites that are verified and have medical professionals on staff. You don’t want to rely on outdated or wrong information that leads to more serious issues!
Medication dosages should never be ignored. Know the exact amounts before you take them or give them to your loved ones. It’s easy to assume that the same brands will have the same dosing requirements, but they can vary. Follow these tips and be safe!