How can I make sure to take the right dose of my liquid medicine?

Anthony Cirillo
Geriatric Medicine
One way to take the right dose of medication is to use the right spoon. New research suggests that you should steer clear of using ordinary spoons when taking or giving liquid medicines, because the practice raises the risk of potentially dangerous mistakes in dosing. Just as the size of a plate influences how much one eats, utensils also have an effect on dosing.

Researchers tracked the dosing behaviors of 195 college students who had visited a university health clinic around the time the study was launched. The authors found that  though the students were usually confident that they had taken the correct dose of a medicine, dosages varied depending on the size of the spoon. When using a medium-sized tablespoon, the students underdosed by more than 8%. And when using the larger tablespoon, they overdosed by nearly 12%.

Stick to more reliable dosing instruments, such as measuring caps or droppers, dosing spoons, or dosing syringes when administering liquid medicines.

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