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Considerations for imported children’s acetaminophen

November 30, 2022
Foreign products contain different levels of concentration than Canadian products.

ACP pharmacy practice consultants have observed that many pharmacy teams are stocking all infants’ and children’s acetaminophen and ibuprofen products behind the counter to ensure they have the opportunity to counsel parents and caregivers according to the needs of their children. With foreign acetaminophen products soon to appear on the Canadian market, it’s very important that pharmacy teams spend the time necessary to educate parents and caregivers about the appropriate dosage for their children in consideration of the different concentrations of products available.

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) Canada has published a Safety Bulletin that provides advice to pharmacy teams about preparing safe use of imported acetaminophen for children. The following are excerpts from the bulletin:

The introduction of imported products into the medication-use system must be carefully managed to mitigate risks, such as the potential for medication errors.

Hospitals will continue to have access to the Canadian acetaminophen product for infants aged 0-23 months (80mg/ml) and can use the acetaminophen product imported from Australia (24mg/ml) for children aged 2-11 years. Familiarity of healthcare workers with the Canadian products for infants (80mg/ml) and children (32mg/ml) necessitates a coordinated risk management strategy to prevent dosing errors with the Australian product (24mg/ml).

If your pharmacy team will be providing imported children’s acetaminophen products to your patients, ACP encourages you to review the bulletin to help ensure proper dosing.