NEW INSTRUCTIONS are set to begin appearing on children’s liquid paracetamol medicines in the coming weeks which will provide more detailed guidance on the ages and related dosage.
The Irish Medicines Boards says the updated instructions will make it easier for guardians to understand the correct dosage for children while ensuring that kids get the most effective amount of the medicine for their needs.
Under the current dosage instructions, liquid paracetamol-containing medicines have two single age bands (ie 3 months to 1 year, and from 1 year to 6 years). The new instructions will detail four narrower age bands for six years and under and will define the singe dose required per age band.
Three more age bands will divide children between the ages of six and 12.
The IMB’s director of human products authorisation Ann O’Connor stressed that the changes are not related to safety, but are being introduced to optimise the effectiveness of the medicines. She says that until the new guidelines are released, the current dosage instructions provided in medicine packs should be followed:
This is a prudent measure which is being taken to make it easier for parents and carers to identify how much paracetamol they can give to their children. This is not a safety issue and parents should have no concerns about following the current dosage instructions. However, these are simple changes that enhance the current advice. As with all medicines, the goal is to maximise the benefits of use and reduce the risks.
The medicines which will carry the new instructions include Calpol, Medinol, Paralink and Paracetamol Infant products.
The IMB says parents and guardians should read the production information provided with medicines carefully and to ensure the maximum dosage is never exceeded.
They should consult with their doctor or pharmacist if they need more advice on medicine, and should use the measuring instruments that are provided with the medicine to make sure that the correct amount is being administered.