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October 28, 1974

Confounded Caps

Author Affiliations

Santa Barbara, Calif

JAMA. 1974;230(4):537. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240040015007

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To the Editor.—  The latest in the savior-rebuffing syndrome is the patient response to the kiddy-proof pill bottles. More than one patient has confided to me that, when confronted by one of these confounded caps, he does the same thing he did 30 years ago when handed a machine-capped drink: hands it back and asks to have the cap removed. Then, he takes it home with the cap loose! This solves the problem with cumbersome caps of all types, but it introduces a new one. Medication that may be damaged by humidity will be damaged to some extent if not tightly capped.Perhaps we could revive the skull and crossbones for "external use only" preparations, as well as for toxic and caustic compounds of all types. I would suggest a red skull and crossbones for the purposes originally intended. In addition, a second, green skull and crossbones would mean "use