You are here

Myth Buster: Measuring Medicine

[PURPLE_TEXT_BOLD {What you've heard:}] How much medicine I give my child depends on his age.

[PURPLE_TEXT_BOLD {The truth:}] His weight's the best measure. If he's bigger than average, the amount recommended for his age might not be strong enough to do the job, says Richard Gorman, M.D., past chairperson of the Committee on Drugs for the American Academy of Pediatrics. If he's small for his age, on the other hand, it might be too much  -- increasing the likelihood of side effects, such as a stomachache from ibuprofen or drowsiness from an antihistamine. What if only age guidelines are listed on the box? Check with the doctor or pharmacist if your child's big or small for his age. To make it easy, some pediatricians give out a dosing chart  -- based on both weight and age  -- for common nonprescription medicines that you can hang near your medicine chest for easy access.