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ISMP Medication Safety Alert


What is a "dropperful"?

Medications for children are frequently ordered by the "dropperful". There are several problems with these orders. First there is too much room for misinterpretation of what might constitute a dropperful. One individual might consider it to be a dropper filled to the upper calibration mark. Others might consider it to be, literally, a full dropper and yet others might consider it acceptable to use a household dropper or a dropper supplied for another product. Likewise, another problem is variation in the measurement scales on droppers supplied with different products.

We recommend that consumers make sure that they understand the directions and keep the proper dropper with the product. Only use the dropper that has been supplied with the product.

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