Newswise — A recent Journal of the American Medical Association study indicates dosing instructions and dose delivery devices of over-the-counter medications for children poorly adhere to FDA guidelines.

JAMA is releasing the study early online on Tuesday, Nov. 30 because of its public health importance. It will be published in the Dec. 15 issue of JAMA with an editorial written by Darren DeWalt, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine’s Division of General Medicine.

In the editorial, Dr. DeWalt says that while dollars are spent “making diagnoses, developing therapies and designing treatment plans,” health care providers should pay closer attention to ensuring that caregivers understand dosing instructions.

“Several studies have demonstrated that caregiver dosing of liquid medications for children is frequently inaccurate,” he writes, “placing children at risk for subtherapeutic dosing or toxicity.”

Dr. DeWalt focuses his research on health literacy – how well people understand doctors’ instructions and other health information. He will make himself available for media interviews.