This sponsored post is brought to you by the Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition’s Know Your Dose campaign.
The first time I ever really thought about acetaminophen dosages was probably around midnight on a cold winter night several years ago. My oldest kiddo was just over a year old, feverish, miserable and not sleeping. I grabbed the bottle of children’s acetaminophen I had on hand and looked at the label: Under 2 years, ask your doctor. There we were with our sick kiddo, calling the doctor’s answering service on a Friday night, waiting for the call back so we could make sure to give the correct dosage and get sweet, safe relief.
Sure, you think, the dosage matters when it’s a baby. But dosage also really matters for us big kids (ahem, adults) too. Acetaminophen is in lots of different over-the-counter medicines, so if you’re not careful, it’s really easy to go over the limit of what you really need. Think about it: You probably don’t think twice about popping OTC medication for a headache. Add in a runny nose and maybe you’re hitting the cold and flu medicines, too, not even thinking about the fact that both contain acetaminophen.
That’s why the Know Your Dose campaign is getting the word out about the correct dosage.
Acetaminophen is safe and effective when it’s used correctly, but the key is taking it correctly in the right dosage. There is a daily limit in how much you can take, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has set at 4,000 mg in 24 hours. Correct dosage is key because taking more than directed can lead to liver damage. You’re already sick — who wants to add in liver damage? Taking too much can be a simple byproduct of being sick, distracted and not paying proper attention. Most people who take more than recommended do so by taking the next dose too soon, using multiple products containing acetaminophen, or taking too much at once. No good. Always read the backs of those labels to make sure you’re dosing properly. Luckily for most of us, we generally don’t have to worry about meeting the weight or age requirement and calling our doctor for advice on a weekend. But we do have to respect the over-the-counter meds, no matter how old we are!
Do you pay attention to drug labels to make sure you’re hitting the right dosage? I always err on the side of caution when it comes to dosing times, so I typically wait too long rather than not long enough. I really should set an alarm … —Erin