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Sao Paulo Medical Journal

Print version ISSN 1516-3180

Abstract

ALVES, João Guilherme Bezerra; CARDOSO NETO, Fortunato José; ALMEIDA, Camila Dornelas Câmara  and  ALMEIDA, Natalia Dornelas Câmara. Dipyrone and acetaminophen: correct dosing by parents?. Sao Paulo Med. J. [online]. 2007, vol.125, n.1, pp. 57-59. ISSN 1516-3180.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-31802007000100011.

CONTEXT AND OBJECTIVE: Several studies in developed countries have documented that a significant percentage of children are given inappropriate doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. The objective of this paper was to investigate parents’ accuracy in giving dipyrone and acetaminophen to their children, in a poor region. DESIGN AND SETTING: Cross-sectional study at the pediatric emergency department of Instituto Materno-Infantil Prof. Fernando Figueira, a teaching hospital in Pernambuco. METHODS: The inclusion criteria were age between 3 and 36 months, main complaint of fever and at least one dose of dipyrone or acetaminophen given to the child during the 24 hours preceding their arrival at the emergency department. The mothers were asked for demographic information and about the antipyretic doses given, which were compared with the recommended dosage. RESULTS: Among the 200 patients studied, 117 received dipyrone and 83 received acetaminophen. Overall, 75 % received an incorrect dose of antipyretic. Of the patients who received dipyrone, 105 (89.7%) were given an incorrect dose; 16 (15.2%) received too little dipyrone, and 89 (84.8%) received too much. Of the patients who received acetaminophen, 45 (54.2%) were given an incorrect dose; 38 (84.4%) received too little acetaminophen, and 7 (15.6%) received too much. There were no differences in maternal and child characteristics between the groups receiving correct and incorrect doses of medication, except for the type of medication (dipyrone versus acetaminophen). CONCLUSIONS: Most of the children treated were given inappropriate doses, mainly dipyrone overdosing and acetaminophen underdosing.

Keywords : Fever; Antipyretics; Dipyrone; Acetaminophen; Dose; Cross-sectional studies.

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