In the past moms have had to decide which Tylenol product was right for their child: Were they small enough to be given the concentrated infant’s drops? Were they old enough to have the children’s formula that was not concentrated?
One teaspoon of the concentrated formula is very different than one teaspoon of the children’s version!
I have personally stood in a drugstore aisle examining and reading labels very closely so I didn’t end up giving a child an overdose of the wrong form of medicine.
Well to help solve that problem, Johnson & Johnson and other drug makers announced last week they will switch to a single concentration so parents won’t have to wonder which product is the right one to use.
Dosing will still be dependent on age of the child.
The FDA is meeting with drug makers later this month about other safety improvements such as adding weight to the label help determine dosing. (I think weight used to be on the baby ones when my kids were little.)
“In 2009, there were 14 hospitalizations caused by pediatric versions of medicines containing acetaminophen, but no deaths, according to the most recent data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers….”
“Acetaminophen is the most commonly used medicine for relieving pain and fevers in children, according to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, which will be announcing the switch. According to a 2008 study, 23% of caregivers had given infants under 2 years of age a single-ingredient acetaminophen medicine during the previous week. Companies sold $153 million in kids’ acetaminophen medicines in the year leading up to April 10, Perrigo said….”
“Manufacturers of acetaminophen products have been under pressure from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help minimize medication errors. A 2009 meeting of experts convened by the agency prompted drug makers to revise the labels on medicine bottles and provide specific dosing instructions for children under 2.”
Perrigo Co., which makes 95% of the kids’ acetaminophen medicines sold as store brands, says its products should be switched over to the single concentration by this summer.
J&J’s McNeil Consumer Healthcare unit plans to roll out the single concentration as its infants’ Tylenol bottles return to the market later this year and the beginning of next year. (It had been on a lengthy recall.)
Novartis AG, maker of Triaminic, will also comply.
Tylenol also sent me a press release about other safety enhancements:
The new Tylenol infants bottle (so I guess same concentration but in a different size bottle) will have a syringe that sticks into the bottle and a flow control top for more accurate measuring. (I love those because then you’re not spreading germs but you cannot hold the baby and dispense the medicine – or at least I couldn’t when I had bottles like that. It’s a two-hand operation.)
The children’s bottle has a protective opening to help keep children out of the bottle and a dosing cup.
(Interestingly, and not to confuse the reader, Tylenol will NOT be making the same changes to its product lines in Canada. They will still continue to sell there with different concentrations. So I don’t know if that means the Canadian Moms are smarter than us and aren’t overdosing their kids or if the Canadian version of the FDA is more laissez-faire? HMMM.)
So what do you think about having the same concentrations of some children’s drugs? Will that make your life easier? Will you have to think less when giving medicine? Do you like syringe that plugs into the top of the medicine? What do you think about it being two-handed operation? Do you think these changes will help prevent overdoses or the parents that would have giving the wrong concentration are still likely to give the wrong dose?
What do you make of the Canada stuff? Those moms are smart enough to handle different concentrations?