Is paracetamol being prescribed and used at the correct therapeutic dose in the children population in South Africa?
When used at the recommended and approved therapeutic dose, paracetamol is effective. Paracetamol is available in various forms and easily accessible from general dealers and pharmacies. The liquid form is the preferred form given with a device to children. Paracetamol is effective within a defined therapeutic range; however, are prescribers and caregivers using paracetamol as authorised by regulators? A qualitative review of product specific labelling and the department of health recommendations was conducted and evaluated by means of arithmetic means differences to the regulator requirements. Surveys of healthcare professionals and caregivers determined the quantity administered and to establish if a device was used. The dosing information from product specific labelling, the department of health and the regulator source were reviewed for recommended dose, frequency of administration, maximum daily dose and recommendations for overdose treatment. There are similarities and differences with the null hypothesis being proven. Product labelling and department of health recommendations do not conform to the regulator accepted therapeutic dose. There was no unambiguous legislative medicine guideline on the age of a child with children between six and twelve being underdosed with liquid paracetamol in terms of volume and strength.