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News2010January › A teaspoon of medicine is almost always wrong › January 2010

A teaspoon of medicine is almost always wrong

When you pour yourself or your child some cough medicine into a kitchen spoon, you will almost always get the dose wrong- so it's either ineffective or, over time, dangerous

When you pour yourself or your child some cough medicine into a kitchen spoon, you will almost always get the dose wrong- so it's either ineffective or, over time, dangerous. In one test, 195 cold and flu sufferers were asked to pour some night-time flu medication into a spoon as directed on the label. But in every case, they got the dose wrong; they either poured in eight per cent less than directed on the label, or 12 per cent too much medicine. "Twelve per cent more may not sound like a lot, but this goes on every four to eight hours, for up to four days. So it really adds up - to the point of ineffectiveness or even danger," said research group leader Dr Brian Wansink of Cornell Food and Brand Lab. Instead, he recommends using a measuring cap or dropper, or dosing spoon or syringe, to get the correct recommended dose. (Source: Annals of Internal Medicine, 2010; 152: 66-7).


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