Liquid Medication

Liquid medication takes one of three forms: elixirs, emulsion, and suspensions. An elixir is a sweet, pleasant-smelling solution of alcohol and water used as a vehicle for medicine. Robitussin, a commonly used cough preparation, is an elixir. An emulsion is a suspension of small globules of one liquid in a second liquid with which the first will not mix, such as milk fats in milk. And a suspension is a preparation of finely divided, undissolved particles dispersed in a liquid, such as bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol). When administering liquid medication:

• Dilute, shake, or stir the medication only if required (follow the directions on the label).

• Read the meniscus at the lowest fluid mark to determine the dose while pouring the liquid. This is best done at eye level.

• Refrigerate open or reconstituted (mixed) liquid medication as per the medication label. Date and label the time the medication was opened or reconstituted.

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