Posted by Hilary Parker on May 20, 2011
Drug manufacturers plan to simplify liquid pediatric acetaminophen medicines, according to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), the 130-year-old-trade association which represents U.S. manufacturers and distributors of over-the-counter medicines and nutritional supplements. The drug companies will convert these products to a single concentration strength to help prevent overdoses that may be caused by confusion.
This voluntary change means infant drops no longer will be manufactured, beginning in mid-2011. Instead, the current children’s strength of liquid acetaminophen (160 mg / 5 mL) will become the only liquid concentration available for children 12 and under. The move comes on the heels of the FDA’s recent publication of new dosage delivery device guidelines, which call for calibrated syringes, droppers and cups to help prevent overdoses.
“CHPA member companies are voluntarily making this conversion to one concentration to help make it easier for parents and caregivers to appropriately use single-ingredient liquid acetaminophen,” said CHPA President and CEO Scott Melville. “We are committed to providing parents and caregivers with the tools and information they need to help give their children the right amount of these medicines.”
Those companies which make infant acetaminophen say they will work with retailers to ensure that the more concentrated infant drops are removed from store shelves. However, CHPA stresses the importance that customers are aware that the currently-concentrated infant drops will remain on store shelves — and in medicine cabinets — for some time. The best way to ensure proper dosage is to read and follow the label’s instructions each time you administer a drug, CHPA officials say.
The new, single-concentration liquid medicines also will feature syringes for more accurate dosing and flow restrictors of infants. For older children, dosing cups will continue to be offered.
The most recent figures from the American Association of Poison Control Centers show that pediatric medicines containing acetaminophen were responsible for 14 hospitalizations in 2009, but no deaths.