The Therapeutic Goods Administration says some people have expressed confusion over how to use measuring syringes supplied with Children’s Panadol 1-5 Years Colourfree Suspension. Incorrect measurements have the potential to lead to accidental overdoses.
The active ingredient in Children’s Panadol 1-5 Years Colourfree Suspension is paracetamol. Paracetamol has been used in Australia for the relief of pain and fever since the 1950s and is available in many different forms for adults and children.
Paracetamol is safe and effective when taken as directed on the label. However, if taken either in overdose or in amounts that exceed the recommended dose for more than a few days, the unwanted effects can be severe.
The syringe supplied with Children’s Panadol 1-5 Years Colourfree Suspension is shaped in such a way that the dose should be measured where the widest side of the plunger meets the barrel of the syringe. This differs from most syringes which measure to the tip of the plunger where the liquid finishes. With the Children’s Panadol syringe, the liquid continues past the tip of the plunger and therefore needs be measured to where the widest sides of the plunger meet the barrel of the syringe. If the dose is measured from the point where the liquid touches the end of the plunger closest to the nozzle, the dose is incorrect.
This example shows how to measure an 8 mL dose.
The TGA is working with GSK to address any potential for accidental over use, including whether an update to the packaging of Children’s Panadol 1-5 Years Colourfree Suspension to clarify the instructions on how to use the dosing syringe is sufficient or if other actions are also required.