Everything you must know before giving medicines to your child

By Madhurie Singh, January 06, 2012


Some important terms every mom must know about medicines especially OTC (over the counter that you can buy without prescription).


Since I have the experience of working as product manager in a pharmaceutical company it becomes easy for me to understand any bottle or strip of medicine I lay my hands on. Also morphine is very close to my heart as I did a year round research on how it could be introduced in India, its manufacturing, packaging, labeling and marketing. It was later shelved due to legal reasons about license to manufacture narcotics. But the abundance of knowledge I gained from the project is the winning fact for me.

Yet I am not a doctor and all the content written is compilation of information with loads of common sense applied.

Ask your doctor:

Always ask your doctors everything you have in mind related to the reason you are visiting them.

Also tell them honestly everything you can to help them assess the cause of the disease.

I have never found any doctor who does not answer my questions. Infact after a few minutes they want to know what is my profession to make sure I am not pulling their leg. Recently I have the Ophthalmologist ask me my profession when I kept on asking him questions.  It’s your right to ask questions and know everything you are worried about health.

Expiry Date:

Most important thing to read is the expiry date.

Remember to take only those medicines where the date is at least 3months from today as expiry.

Most drugs actually last 6-8 months even after their expiry date, but all manufacturers want to play safe.

Infact most multivitamins actually can be eaten 6 months after their expiry safely.

But when it comes to life saving drugs and antibiotics, you must not compromise.


Most of us really do not have much exposure to pharmaceutical world other than consuming their products. We trust our doctors, chemists and hospitals blindly. But I guess its high time to open your blinds and peep into the ingredients once a while. Google the names of the ingredients always to see that you are giving right drug to your loved ones.


How many teaspoons or ml to give to your baby or self is a commonly wrong fact.

This is something you cannot take chance with especially if taking a life saving drug like antibiotics or any of the steroids.

With something like cough syrup too you have to see the weight of the child not only age.

Heavy and chubby babies will may need more than tiny and lanky babies. MUST ask the doctor for the dose after telling them the weight and age of the child.

Adults always need double the dose due to weight. But again must confirm with the doctor before taking any drug.


How many times a day a medicine should be given is often confusing to moms.

I have known of moms who gave 3 times a day by not considering the gap between doses.

Twice a day or thrice a day should be clarified by the doctor. You must ask what is the number of hours gap between each dose, especially of the antibiotics and steroids.

You cannot give 3 dose from breakfast to dinner if the gap between each dose is 6 hours.

You must make sure 6 hours is over before next dose is given. If needed you may have to wake the child or self to take the next dose if it falls in the late night.

There is a reason for 6 hour gap or 8 hour gap.

After the medicine goes into the stomach, it may take 1-2 hours for it to be digested and reach the infected area through blood. But it takes longer to be thrown out of the body. If you give sooner than prescribed time of dose, the drug will cause poisoning. Poisoning in pharma world means excess of any drug in the body.

When to stop taking medicines:

Many a times we stop taking the medicines because we feel good.

Actually it is very important to continue the entire course of the medicine. If it feels good it means the symptoms are cured, but the rest of the dose will cure the disease to the roots.

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