Why does over the counter medications have ‘universal’ doses?

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A lot of OTC meds have a kids section and an adult or over 12 section the dosing information as if the age is the only thing that matters in terms of dosage. Why is that? Is the same dose really as effective for a 250 lb male as a 100 lb female? Why aren’t the doses broken down into more specific categories based on weight?

In: Chemistry

4 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

> Is the same dose really as effective for a 250 lb male as a 100 lb female? Why aren’t the doses broken down into more specific categories based on weight?

No, of course medications change in effectiveness by body weight and even things like gender and racial origin.

However, people are stupid. Like real window-licking, knuckle-dragging morons. It is hard enough to get people to follow instructions like “Take two every six hours as needed,” instead of just taking however many they feel like whenever they feel like. Calculating a dose based on body weight, something they probably are in denial about anyway, is just too much to expect the typical mouth-breather to handle.

Prescription medications given with the supervision of a pharmacist are going to be much more tailored to a particular recipient because a doctor specializing in medications has all the required knowledge and skills. That is also why it is so important that only the person which the prescription is for takes the medication.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s not. It just works *more or less* as intended, split like that.

You could do a better job if you had the training and drug-specific knowledge, but OTC drugs earn that designation specifically because not just the average, but well-below average idiot has to be able to use them with minimal risk of poisoning themselves.

Anonymous 0 Comments

With medications, kidney/ liver function play a big role in terms of effectiveness. For kids 12 and under, their kidney/ liver functionality is still increasing as they age, that’s why their dosages are varied. With adults, the functioning is relatively flat across people, so there isn’t a real need to adjust dosages based on weight, as with kids.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Note that OTC medications are generally safe to somewhat overdose, such that is someone takes the recommended dose and doesn’t feel the effects, they can take a second dose. So the dose can be put in the middle for the average person, and big people can take a double dose, and small people will just have a heavy dose, not a problem.

Prescription medications are typically more dangerous to overdose on, which is why they require a prescription. They want to make sure the right dose is given. It may not kill you, but it could make you sick or damage your liver. Or, in the case of many antibiotics, it’s dangerous to *under-dose* because it can lead to antibiotic resistant bacteria.