Pastry chefs are very familiar with different measurements that are required in baking. However, even the most talented chef can mistake a teaspoon for a tablespoon measurement because the words and abbreviations look alike. The same can be said for pharmacists. Experienced pharmacists have been known to read a doctor’s prescription for a teaspoon and prescribe a tablespoon instead.
While this doesn’t sound too bad, the differences between teaspoon and tablespoon doses can be harmful. This is because a teaspoon is 5 milliliters (ml), whereas a tablespoon is 15 ml – three times the proper dose. When a tablespoon dose is prescribed instead of a teaspoon, adverse effects could occur due to overdosing.
If any of your medication calls for a tablespoon or teaspoon dose, have the pharmacist double check the prescription because confusing the two is a common pharmacy error. Additionally, if your prescription calls for a ml, cc, tablespoon or teaspoon dose, ask the pharmacist for an oral syringe or purchase one to eliminate a dosing error. Silverware spoons are not all the same size and should never be used for administering liquid medication.
Unit Conversions to Help Eliminate a Dosing Error
The National Institutes of Health, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, has helpful liquid medication administration guidelines and conversions available on Medline Plus to help you avoid a dosing error. Some of the conversions include:
- 1 ml = 1 cc
- 2.5 ml = ½ teaspoon
- 5 ml = 1 teaspoon
- 15 ml = 1 tablespoon
If you were injured as a result of a dosing error due to a negligent pharmacist, you need to seek justice. At Kennedy Hodges, L.L.P., our prescription drug error lawsuit attorneys will answer your questions, explain your rights, and help you seek financial compensation for the wrongs you suffered. Call us today at 888-526-7616 for a free consultation and a FREE copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.