New Guidelines Supporting mL for OTC Liquid Medicine Dosing

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) Board of Directors recently approved changes to CHPA’s voluntary guidelines addressing dosing of liquid pediatric over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. Key changes to the voluntary guidelines include: • Deleting “spoon” labeling (i.e., teaspoon, tablespoon) on dosing directions and dosing devices, • Specifying use of “mL” only in dosing directions and on devices, and • Deleting the provision in dosing directions of a definition of any volumetric unit of measure (i.e., mL = milliliter). The updated guidelines replace the previous version of this document approved in November 2009 that specifies mL as the preferred unit of measure. The changes are supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) PROTECT (Preventing Overdoses and Treatment Errors in Children Taskforce) Initiative, who partners with the CHPA Educational Foundation on the safe medicine storage campaign. In addition, the National Council on Prescription Drug Programs has also recommended a move to “mL only” labeling (for prescription liquid medicines), and a recent FDA draft guidance document addressing issues aimed at enhancing safe use of OTC pediatric liquid acetaminophen products also specifies that dosing directions should be provided in mL only