How close is the dose? Manipulation of 10mg hydrocortisone tablets to provide appropriate doses to children

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Colleges, School and Institutes


This study explores the methodology advised by healthcare professionals and the methods used by parents/carers to identify whether there is a best practice method for manipulation of 10mg hydrocortisone tablets to provide an accurate dose to children. Bespoke surveys were used to identify methods recommended and used in manipulation of tablets. Hydrocortisone tablets were manipulated to provide a specified dose by both naïve participants and parents/carers. The accuracy of manipulation was assessed using HPLC analysis. Competed surveys were received from 159 parent/carers reporting doses that ranged from 0.25-15mg. Parents/carers most commonly reported splitting the tablet and administering the solid fraction; however more than 30% of those reporting physically splitting tablets were preparing doses that were not simply halving or quartering tablets. In a naïve population the dose accuracy, defined as percent of doses within 20% of the theoretical dose ranged from 57-58% depending on the tablet brand and the method of manipulation used. Almost three-quarters (74.1%) of parent/carers (n=27) were able to produce a dose within 20% of the theoretical value and the most accurate method was to split tablets and administer the solid fraction. This study shows that a lack of age-appropriate medicines results in children being at risk of sub-optimal dosing.


Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
Early online date26 Apr 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Apr 2018