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Taminflu Oral Suspension is but one prescription drug to help treat the swine flu. However, the Food and Drug Administration and Roche, the maker of the drug, are warning parents to be careful when administering the medication to their children.

According to a statement issued on Friday, the syringe that comes with the medication is marked at 30, 45, and 60 milligrams. However, the instructions that were included in the packaging of the product, inform parents to give their child three-fourths of a teaspoon twice a day. The confusion over the correct amount of the medication can lead to over- or under-dosing, both of which could be potentially dangerous.

The problem is that milligrams measure weight, while teaspoons measure volume. Simply stated, the instructions and the syringe give dosage instructions in two entirely different measurement systems. This makes it very difficult for a layperson to know what the correct dosage is, without having to do some very complicated math to get it right.

Roche has apparently sent a warning letter to doctors and pharmacists instructing them to prescribe the oral version of the drug in milligrams. If prescriptions come in teaspoon or in milliliters, both doctors and pharmacists are supposed to provide a properly corresponding measuring device in place of the original syringe. If your child is already sick with swine flu, the last thing you want to do is prolong the illness by not giving them enough medication, or similarly, make it worse by giving them too much.

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