Reducing OTC pediatric dosing errors: What the pharmacist needs to know

Target Audience:

Pharmacists in community-based practice.

Universal program number: 0401-0000-12-013-H01-P
Activity type: Knowledge-based


To increase the pharmacist ability to help parents and caregivers understand the best way to dose OTC pediatric products and to counsel them on the appropriate selection and use of OTC pediatric products and dosing devices.


The use of over-the-counter medications in pediatric patients is very common. In recent years, concerns about the safety and efficacy of some OTC medicines used in children has resulted in numerous products being withdrawn from the market, reformulated or relabeled with different indications, dosages and instructions. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration has adopted requirements about the inclusion of medication-specific dosing administration devices in OTC medications for children. Medication-dosing errors in children are common and frequently caused by inappropriate dosing, use of inappropriate measuring devices or not following labeled instructions. The pharmacist can help parents and caregivers interpret and understand issues surrounding the correct use and administration of OTC medication in children, thus reducing medication errors.

Learning objectives:

Upon completion of this program, the pharmacist should be able to:

  1. Describe how frequently OTC medications are used in pediatric patients.
  2. Discuss the differences between adult and pediatric pharmacokinetics.
  3. Explain the most appropriate methods to determine pediatric drug doses.
  4. Understand the most common causes of medication errors associated with drug administration in pediatric patients and review results of studies of parent and caregiver pediatric drug administration.
  5. Formulate strategies to reduce medication administration errors in pediatric patients.
To obtain credit:

A minimum test score of 70% is needed to obtain credit. Submit your answers to the learning assessment questions online at Your statement of credit will be available through CPE Monitor located at To ensure transmission of credit hours to CPE Monitor, you must enter your correct e-PID number in your CE profile.

All customer service questions should be directed to (800) 933-9666. This lesson is free of charge.


Drug Store News is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. This CPE Activity is approved for pharmacists and is worth 2.0 contact hours (0.2 CEUs). The activity is available for CE credit through December 3, 2015.

Course summary
Credit hours: 
  • 2.00 Pharmacist
Course opens: 
Course format: 
Written Lesson
Course expires: 

By Marsha K. Millonig, RPh, MBA, consultant, associate fellow, University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, Center for Leading Healthcare Change

Author Disclosure:

Marsha K. Millonig and the DSN editorial and continuing education staff do not have any actual or potential conflicts of interest in relation to this lesson.

This lesson is supported by an education grant from Accudial Pharmaceutical. 

Available Credit

  • 2.00 Pharmacist

Accreditation Period

Course opens: 
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