What causes dehydration?
Dehydration is most often caused by gastric illness resulting in diarrhoea and vomiting, such as traveller’s gastroenteritis. Without treatment, it can be very dangerous, particularly in infants and children.

How do I know if I’m dehydrated?
You begin to notice symptoms of dehydration when as little as 2% of your body’s normal water volume has been lost. Initially, you’ll feel thirsty and uncomfortable, and possibly your skin will feel dry and you won’t feel hungry. This can be followed by constipation. Other symptoms of mild dehydration include decreased urine volume, abnormally dark urine, unexplained tiredness, headache, dry mouth and dizziness. Children will be less active than usual, they will produce less wet nappies, they may not shed tears when they cry, and in severe cases in infants, the “soft spot” on their head – the fontanelle - will be sunken.

How do I know if my child’s dehydration has reached dangerous levels?
If your child’s condition worsens or there is decreased urine output, seek medical advice. Seek medical advice also if diarrhoea persists for more than 6 hours with a child younger than six months old, 12 hours with a child aged up to three years old; 24 hours with a child aged three to six, or after 48 hours with a child older than six.

Is ORS suitable for babies?
Yes. For infants, always mix ORS with freshly boiled and cooled water. See below for correct dosage levels for each age. Breastfeeding mothers should first give ORS as recommended and then breastfeed until baby is satisfied. If not breastfeeding, give ORS in place of milk formula or other drinks.

Should I eat while taking ORS?
Limit food if you want to on Day One, but introduce your normal diet gradually from Day Two while reducing the amount of ORS you take.

Couldn’t I just buy a bottle of soft drink, or one of those sports drinks instead?
No, ORS is formulated to supply your body with an optimal level of replenishing salts and glucose. Soft drinks and sports drinks don’t have the right sugar/salt ratio: they tend to go too heavy on the sugar levels, and too light on sodium levels that you need to restore your electrolyte balance.

How much is ORS?
Compared to equivalent products available at your pharmacy, you’ll see that ORS is great value. The recommended retail price is $9.95 for 10 sachets.

Where can I buy ORS?
ORS is only available in pharmacies.

What are the exact dosage levels for ORS?

1. PREVENTION OF DEHYDRATION

Age of Patient Dosage: Prevention of Dehydration
Under 6 months 1/2 - 1 sachet every 4-6 hours
6-24 months 1 sachet every 3-4 hours.
2-5 years 1-2 sachets every 3-4 hours
5-8 years 2 sachets every 3-4 hours
8-10 years 1 sachet every 1-2 hours
10-12 years 1-2 sachets every hour (up to 6-12 sachets in 24 hours)
Adults & children over 12 years 1-2 sachets after every loose bowel motion (up to 8-12 sachets in 24 hours)

2. TREATMENT OF DEHYDRATION: Infants and children up to 10 years

Age of Patient Dosage: Treatment of Dehydration
Under 6 months 1-2 sachets over 6 hours on medical advice.
6-24 months 2-4 sachets over 6 hours on medical advice.
2-5 years 4-5 sachets over 6 hours on medical advice.
5-8 years 4 1/2 - 7 1/2 sachets over 6 hours on medical advice.
8-10 years 5-10 sachets over 6 hours on medical advice.

After 6 hours, fluid replacement should be given at the same rate as for prevention of dehydration.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS: Breastfeeding mothers should first give ORS as recommended and then breastfeed until baby is satisfied. If not breastfeeding, give ORS in place of milk formula or other drinks. For infants, always mix ORS with freshly boiled and cooled water.

3. TREATMENT OF DEHYDRATION: Adults and older children

Age of Patient Dosage: for treatment of Dehydration
Child 10-12 years 1-2 sachets every hour (up to 6-12 sachets in 24 hours)
Adults and children over 12 years 1-2 sachets after every loose motion (up to 8-12 sachets in 24 hours)

ALWAYS READ THE LABEL. USE ONLY AS DIRECTED. IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST, SEE YOUR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL.