Why isn't cold medicine administered by weight as well as age? I know that a child under 12 will metabolize the medicine differently than an adult which is why dosages are given as 12+ and under 12. But what about weight?
My boys are now 14 and almost 16 (gasp! I'm sure I was just walking them to kindergarten yesterday...) and both are healthy weights for their ages. Neither one is chubby and may be considered a bit underweight as they have not a single ounce of extra fat on them. While I watch their shoulders broaden, veins become ropey, jaws sharpen and muscles become well defined (without a single workout I might add...enviously) I assumed they could handle adult dosages of medicines on the rare occasions they are actually sick.
T is going to be 16 soon and has a wicked head cold. Since he can't swallow pills yet I bought DayQuil and NyQuil in liquid form, checked the label, and showed him the measuring cup that the medicine came with. He took a dose of NyQuil that was only three quarters of the adult dose...and slept for 15 hours. He woke briefly to go to work as scheduled, but said it took him several minutes to figure out how to call in to work sick. He said he was holding his phone and thinking of calling in, but had no idea how to get his body to obey the command to dial the phone. When he figured it out he called in and went back to sleep. Also he apparently aborted the concept of 'shower' as it was too difficult to figure out.
When he woke up for good he decided to take DayQuil. I think for this one he took the full adult dose. Around six hours later he emerged from his bedroom to eat and we saw his pupils were the size of olives. I asked if he was having troubles with the DayQuil, he said it was hard to play his computer game as he kept seeing things out of the corners of his eyes that weren't necessarily there. A few hours after that I mentioned to him that each person metabolizes medicine differently and that because he's a bit skinny he might want to consider not taking full doses of stuff. I suggested he take only a half dose of the NyQuil to sleep last night so he'd be reasonably coherent for school. He decided against it, he said it was just too weird-feeling and he'd do without.
Oh, and we didn't bother to tell J about the side effects. The last thing I need is for J to start guzzling the stuff...although he'll probably learn about it from somewhere anyway.