Giving medicines for congenital heart defects

Medicines to treat congenital heart defects are very strong and can be dangerous if they are not given correctly. It is important to know how to give your child's medicines safely.

  • Be sure you understand how much medicine to give and how to give it.
  • If you are not comfortable giving medicine to your child, ask a health professional to help you.
  • If you need to give more than one medicine, ask your health professional about having a home health nurse visit you. The nurse can set up a schedule for the medicines, show you how to store them, and help you become more comfortable giving them.

Giving a child medicine is not always easy. Some questions to ask a health professional about giving medicine to your child include:

  • If the baby spits out or throws up the medicine, do I give another dose?
  • If a dose of medicine is missed, should I give an extra or a double dose?
  • How soon after starting the medicine should I expect my child to start getting better?
  • If the medicine is to be given 3 to 4 times a day, do I need to wake my child up at night for a dose of the medicine?
  • Should I give the medicine with food? If my child refuses to take the medicine, is it okay to add the medicine to food or drink to get the child to take it?
  • Can other medicines be given at the same time?
  • What are the most common side effects of the medicine?

Last Updated: October 12, 2009

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