700 Children's® – A Blog by Pediatric Experts

Flow Restrictors Make Medicine Dispensing Safer, Easier, and Cleaner

Jul 06, 2021
baby sitting on the floor

What if I told you there was a product out there that would keep your family safer, prevent messy medicine spills and make it easier to dispense medicine? There is such a product. It’s free and available from your local pharmacist to anyone who asks. Behold, the medicine flow restrictor.

A medicine flow restrictor is typically a frosty white flat round piece of plastic with a small hole in the middle. The flow restrictor sits just inside the opening of the bottle and enables you to insert a syringe, turn the bottle with syringe upside down, and pull out the exact dose. There is no awkward tilting of the bottle to get the last bits of medicine, playing a game of chicken where you want the medicine in the syringe but not all over your hands or the counter.

You can ask your pharmacist to put the flow restrictor in before you leave the pharmacy, or you can pop it in easily when you get home. There’s no need to remove it once you put it in, and it works perfectly with child-resistant lids.

A flow restrictor can even help prevent poisonings. It limits the amount of liquid that can come out of the bottle, even when turned upside down, shaken, or squeezed. If a young child in the home got access to the bottle of medicine, they would have trouble getting medicine out without a syringe. This is an added layer of protection to the child-resistant lid.

Next time you pick up liquid medicine from the pharmacy, ask for a flow restrictor! You can buy a pack online if your pharmacy doesn’t supply them (some mail order pharmacies don’t) or if you want more for your over-the-counter medicines. Make sure you have the right sized syringe too - your pharmacist can look at the dosage and even put a sticker on the syringe showing how much to fill it. All you have to do is ask!

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Laura Dattner
Center for Injury Research and Policy

Laura Dattner is a research writer in the Center for Injury Research and Policy. With both a health communications and public health background, she works to translate pediatric injury research into meaningful, accurate messages which motivate the public to make positive behavior changes.

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Pediatric News You Can Use From America’s Largest Pediatric Hospital and Research Center

700 Children’s® features the most current pediatric health care information and research from our pediatric experts – physicians and specialists who have seen it all. Many of them are parents and bring a special understanding to what our patients and families experience. If you have a child – or care for a child – 700 Children’s was created especially for you.