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Measuring Devices

Always use a proper measuring device. Use the device that comes with the medication. If one is not provided, ask your pharmacist for advice to pick the best measuring tool. Measuring devices which come with a product should not be used to measure other medications unless your doctor or pharmacist tells you to do so. If you lost the measuring device that came with your medication, call your doctor or pharmacist for advice.


  • Best for children (or adults) who can drink from a cup without spilling. Check for markings on the cup that match the amount you need for your dose. Be careful when using cups that have a combination of millileter (mL), teaspoon (tsp), or tablespoon (Tbsp) markings so that you use the correct fill line.

Dosing spoon

  • Best for children who can drink from a cup, but often spill some liquid. This measuring device may be good for children who use sippy cups to drink liquid.

  • Check for markings on the spoon that match the amount you need for your dose.

Droppers or oral syringes

  • Best for very young children who cannot drink from a cup

  • Best devices for measuring liquids because they make it easy to get the correct dose. However, they may not be available for your medication. Ask your pharmacist.

  • Check for markings on the dropper or oral syringe that match the amount you need for your dose.

  • NEVER use hypodermic syringes that are intended to give shots. Only use syringes made especially for oral use.

  • Special adapters that fit on the top of the bottle allow the liquid to be more easily withdrawn from the container with an oral syringe. These adaptors also improve safety by limiting a child’s access to the liquid medication.

Important Facts

**Never measure liquid medications with household utensils. They are not uniformly sized and this will cause either too much or too little medication to be given. Household measuring or baking spoons also should not be used as the liquid may spill or it may be difficult for you to get the whole dose.

**If you are told to take millileters (mL), teaspoons (tsp), or tablespoons (Tbsp), always make sure you use a measuring device that is marked clearly with your dose.

**Some oral measuring devices come with a combination of millileters (mL), teaspoons (tsp), or tablespoons (Tbsp) markings. Make sure you ask your doctor or pharmacist which marking you should to use to measure your dose. You may find it easier to ask them for a device that only includes the marking you need.

**Ask your pharmacist if an adapter for prescription oral liquid medications is available that can slow or limit medication access. These adapters can reduce the risk of poisoning in children.

**Never allow a child to drink directly from the medicine bottle.