Inaccuracies in dosing drugs with teaspoons and tablespoons

Authors


  • Disclosure None.

Matthew E. Falagas, Alfa Institute of Biomedical Sciences (AIBS), 9 Neapoleos Street, 151 23 Marousi, Greece
Tel.: +30 694 611 0000
Fax: +30 210 683 9605
Email: m.falagas@aibs.gr

Summary

Background:  We aimed to evaluate the potential inaccuracies in administering the desired dose of drugs with teaspoons and tablespoons.

Methods:  We collected all the different teaspoons/tablespoons that were available in 25 households in the area of Attica, Greece and measured their volume capacity (ml).

Results:  A total of 71 teaspoons and 49 tablespoons were provided by the 25 women (mean age 48.0 years) study participants. When these utensils were filled with water, the volume capacity of the 71 teaspoons and 49 tablespoons ranged from 2.5 to 7.3 ml (the mean and the median volume was 4.4 ml). When the standardised teaspoon was used, the volume ranged from 3.9 to 4.9 ml among the total of the 25 study participants. When a subset of five study participants filled this teaspoon with paracetamol syrup, mean volume was 4.8 ml.

Conclusions:  Teaspoons and tablespoons are unreliable dosing devices, and thus their use should no longer be recommended.

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