Reading: Administration of paracetamol to children; do parents adhere to recommendations?

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Administration of paracetamol to children; do parents adhere to recommendations?

Authors:

T. I. Wanni Arachchi ,

University of Ruhuna, Galle, LK
About T. I.
BSc. Nursing Degree Programme, Faculty of Medicine
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M. W. K. Gamage,

University of Ruhuna, Galle, LK
About M. W. K.
BSc. Nursing Degree Programme, Faculty of Medicine
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S. S. Jayasinghe

University of Ruhuna, Galle, LK
About S. S.
Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

Introduction: Fever is a common health problem in childhood. Parents often administer paracetamol to children without consulting a doctor since it is a widely available over the counter drug. The aim of this study was to find out knowledge and practices of administration of paracetamol for children below the age of five years.

 

Methods: Community based descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out using a pre-tested interviewer administered questioner in Bope-Poddla Medical Officer of Health area.

 

Results: One hundred and six parents participated (89.6% female). Mean age (SD) of participants was 32 (5.9) years. All parents were aware of the availability of tablets and syrup. Only 55.7% was aware of suppositories. Majority (95.3%) of the participants did not know the recommended dose. More than half of the parents (62.3%) administered paracetamol without a medical advice. The association between use of package label instruction with correct dosing was statistically significant (p = 0.04). The commonly used measuring device was a measuring cup (83%). Among the seven teaspoon users, two knew its capacity correctly. Fifty-nine percent of the parents gave weight appropriate dose; 15.1% had given subtherapeutic dose and 25.5% given supratherapeutic dose. Level of education was not associated with correct dosing (p = 0.1). There were statistically significant associations between the age group of the participants with correct dosing (p = 0.04). The recommended dosing frequency was exceeded by 50.9%.

 

 

Conclusions: Administration of supratherapeutic and subtherapeutic doses of paracetamol to children under five years old is not uncommon. Further, parents are not adhering to the recommended frequency of administration.
How to Cite: Wanni Arachchi, T.I., Gamage, M.W.K. and Jayasinghe, S.S., 2018. Administration of paracetamol to children; do parents adhere to recommendations?. Galle Medical Journal, 23(2), pp.15–19. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/gmj.v23i2.7977
Published on 31 Dec 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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