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To wish medicines were labelled in a larger font

(9 Posts)
Elegran Fri 02-Mar-12 11:48:21

DH has a bottle of liquid morphine in case the painkillers for his liver cancer need a quick top-up between doses of 30/500 codeine/paracetamol. Dosage of morphine - two mg at a time. In an identical brown bottle he has codeine linctus for his lung cancer. Dosage of that - 30 mg last thing at night and some more if it is keeping him awake.

Dosage of each is printed in a smallish font on each bottle.

In the middle of the night, with the brain not yet awake and the eyes not too sharp, it is not easy to distinguish between the two. If I get it wrong, he could get either get cough linctus at one fifteenth the strength of the morphine for pain (not exactly effective), or morphine at 15 times the strength of the linctus for the cough (too blooming effective)

I have stuck a large label on the morphine bottle so that I can recognise it, but I would have thought clear labeling of dangerous drugs was a must.

syberia Fri 02-Mar-12 11:52:50

I do sympathise Elegran. The label size is standard, so the font has to fit the label!! I would ask the pharmacy to perhaps add a red dot to the label or some such thing that you would find helpful.

Elegran Fri 02-Mar-12 11:55:28

Ive added my own sticky label with capital letters in black felt-tip. DIY labelling!

harrigran Fri 02-Mar-12 14:13:12

I would suggest wrapping a thick rubber band round the morphine bottle Elegran you would then know immediately.

goldengirl Fri 02-Mar-12 14:15:53

Medicine labelling is serious, but Terms and Conditions on labels can also cause a problem - too small to read, but very important when something untoward happens and you're told 'It's in our Terms and Conditions' !

gracesmum Fri 02-Mar-12 14:24:39

You are making a very valid point Elegran and it is vital to distinguish between these bottles. The rubber band is a good idea. I would add an additional plea for containers NOT to be automatically childproof - with arthritis in my hands I often struggle to open them

Elegran Fri 02-Mar-12 14:45:12

The rubber band would be obvious in low light too - good idea.

But you would think that powerful medicines to be dispensed by anxious elderly carers with less than perfect eyesight would be instantly distinguishable, and not have to be relabelled by us.

bagitha Fri 02-Mar-12 14:55:35

I often have to take painkillers during the night. I've learned Braille enough to be able to 'read' the Braille on medicines, so that I don't make a mistake in the dark. I also keep each medicine in its own special place in my medicine cabinet. Being able to read the Braille dots is just an extra precaution. It's not difficult. I would recommend it to anyone who has difficulty reading the small print on medicine packets/bottles.

Elegran Fri 02-Mar-12 15:07:32

I downloaded a book about Braille for the Kindle from Gutenburg (one of several oddities hat caught me eye). It has the symbols. Must look more closely at it.