Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Possible change to Children's Medication

How many people actually call and get a hold of a nurse to find out dosage information when your kid is sick in the middle of the night? I would assume it's not a high percentage. Most parents guestimate on the dosage if the child is under two. I should know. I have a 20 month old. I usually just make sure I am not overdosing him, but I am sure sometimes I am sure I don't give him enough medicine. I think the directions should list age and weight. The FDA is looking at what can be done to prevent kids under two from getting the wrong dose of medication.

FROM NBC: Advisors to the Food and Drug Administration will met Tuesday to discuss how to make certain pain relievers safer for babies and children.

Government advisors are poised to address two problems when it comes to getting pain relief to sick young children:
1. Parents don't have the right information on how much to give 2. Parents measure the dosage wrong The label on infant Tylenol and other over-the-counter products that contain acetaminophen says only to "consult a doctor" for kids under age 2.

An FDA panel of experts will consider whether they have enough information to add dosing instructions for children between the ages of 6 months and 2 years.
Also on the committee's agenda -- whether to change dosing guidance and base it on a child's weight, rather than age. The American Academy of Pediatrics says a change is needed because there's too much variability in how much children of a certain age weigh.

Dr. Daniel Frattarelli/American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Drugs: "The larger child who's given the same dose as a smaller child may not get as much effect of the drug because he's not getting as much as his body needs." And smaller children have a higher risk of an overdose if they get too much acetaminophen. The instructions may also be switched to milliliters so medicine will have to be measured out using dosing devices included in the packaging. right now -- measurements of "teaspoons" are often used.

Dr. Daniel Frattarelli/American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Drugs: "Parents will often -- and you can't blame them for this -- reach into the silverware drawer, pull out a teaspoon, measure it out and give it to the child -- not realizing the teaspoons we have for silverware are not accurate."
Accurate measurements -- and dosing clarity -- may help keep kids safe -- and feel better, sooner. The FDA advisors are expected to issue a recommendation on infant and children's acetaminophen dosing when their meeting wraps up on Wednesday.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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