why is over-the-counter medicine based on age, but not weight?



most over the counter drugs are given for age, like, “2 pills per 24 hours for an adult, 1 pill for children over the age of 5” (something like that, I’m making up stuff).

but if drugs are diffused throughout the body, wouldn’t it be dependent on how much blood or tissue you have?

i mean, other things like alcohol work in that way. a 200# man and a 100# woman (or man) will get drunk at very different rates because it goes in the blood stream, and the 200# man maybe doesn’t have twice the blood volume but definitely a lot more.

meanwhile, tylenol or advil or ibuprofen are NOT dosed that way.

In: Biology

Oh cod, please never use “#” as a substitute for “lb” or “pound” -_-. I beg you.

OK besides that, it’s just a lot easier for a company to go with a general dose recommendation that will be safe for a very wide range of weights, especially because weight alone is not the only deciding factor in how effective the medicine will be.

OTC (over-the-counter) medications have a large therapeutic index/window. Meaning there’s a large gap between seeing positive effects and seeing toxic effects. That is why manufacturers are OK with giving general instructions on the packaging.

You’re right about acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin) not being like that. These two medications are weight-based, so you’ll see something like, “If under 2 years old, consult a doctor or pharmacist before using.” That is because the dose will be individualized.