Are you giving the right amount of medicine?

Very high incidence of parents taking kids to the right doctor and religiously administering medicines; still child not better! LifeCountz spoke to eminent paediatrician Dr Suhas Prabhu and he, like his diagnosis, hit the nail on the head.

Suhas Prabhu

It was indeed a surprise, if not shock, when I realized the commonest cause of patients, especially children, not responding to medicines/ antibiotics was improper dose administered. Also some of the commonest adverse effects – drowsiness, not eating – may be due to more than recommended dosage!

Are you giving the right amount of Medicine?

We prescribe accurate dosages; mothers administer diligently and still no effect!

Was the medicine, the right one? Was it administered as instructed?

The following two images reveal a small study we carried out in our clinic.

When 6 mothers were asked to bring the ‘teaspoon’ they use to administer medicines; 4 different capacity of spoons were brought. On checking smallest gave 3.8 ml & largest gave 7.3 ml


Then we looked at 6 different measure caps (those provided with medicinal bottles) that were brought in by different mothers.

Medicine Cups


A syringe is calibrated to measure medicines very accurately as smallest alteration in quantity injectedmay be catastrophic. Since a syringe allows the exact dose to be measured out, in western countries syringes are increasingly given out with over-the-counter medicines such as paracetamol and cough cold medicines.

Syringe Dose

Several dug manufacturers are giving well calibrated medicine spoons; If you have one, ensure you have filled it to the required (marked) level else less / more medicine may be fed.

Parents are urged to avoid using household teaspoons to give children medicine as sizes can vary widely, leading to both under and overdoses.

Dr Suhas Prabhu, eminent paediatrician, attached to PD Hinduja National Hospital, Mumbai is practicing for over three decades. Several medals and fellowships to his credit he specializes in Infective & critical diseases.

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