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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 30-33

Knowledge and practices of paracetamol administration among caregivers of pediatric age group patients

Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka

Correspondence Address:
R.P.J.C. Ramanayake
Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of medicine, Talagolla Road, Ragama
Sri Lanka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.94448

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Introduction: Paracetamol is a widely used over the counter drug for pyrexia and mild to moderate pain in all age groups. Objective: To assess the knowledge and practices of paracetamol administration among caregivers of the pediatric age group patients attending the university family practice. Materials and Methods: A clinic-based descriptive cross-sectional survey was carried out among clients attending the family practice of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka using pretested interviewer administrated questionnaire. Results: Ninety eight caregivers Participated. Majority were females (97%) with a mean age of 32 years. Age of the patients ranged from 1 to 132 (mean: 48 months). The commonest indication for paracetamol was fever (98%) and in 99% of the patients, mother was the administrator. Forty three percent of the children received a supra-therapeutic dose (>15 mg/kg/dose). None exceeded 20 mg/kg/dose. 16% exceeded the recommended dosing frequency. Children above 3 years were at an increased risk of receiving incorrect paracetamol dose (χ2 =19.55, df=1, P>0.001) A majority (75%) said they followed doctors' advice on paracetamol dose. There was no association between level of education of care giver, deciding dose as directed by doctor and product information leaflet and dosing accuracy. Only one caregiver was able to calculate the paracetamol dose according to weight. A majority (85%) knew about paracetamol poisoning but it was not associated with dosing accuracy. Conclusion and Recommendations: Administration of supratheraputic doses of paracetamol is common and risk increased with child's age. Knowledge on calculating the weight appropriate paracetamol dose is poor. Physicians should educate care givers on judicious use of paracetamol.

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