Hospitalized Kids May Receive Up to 35 Meds a
TUESDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Some children, especially
those with rare conditions, receive many different drugs while in
the hospital, a new study finds.
Acetaminophen, albuterol and antibiotics were the drugs most
commonly given to hospitalized children, the researchers said. They
also found an association between length of hospital stay and the
number of drugs given to children.
On the first day in children's hospitals, patients younger than
1 year at the 90th percentile of daily medication use received 11
drugs and those 1 year or older received 13 drugs. In general
hospitals, patients younger than 1 year received 8 drugs and those
1 year or older received 12 drugs.
By the seventh day of hospitalization in children's hospitals,
patients younger than 1 year at the 90th percentile of total use of
different medications had received 29 drugs and patients 1 year and
older had received 35 drugs. In general hospitals, patients younger
than 1 year had received 22 drugs and patients 1 year and older had
received 28 drugs.
To arrive at the findings, researchers analyzed the medical
records of 365,868 patients younger than 18, who accounted for
491,451 admissions in 52 children's hospitals in 2006. In addition,
they examined the medical records of 221,559 patients younger than
18, who accounted for 260,740 admissions in 411 general hospitals
the same year.
The study is published online Sept. 5 in the journal
Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
Patients with rare conditions were more likely to receive a
greater number of drugs, said Dr. Chris Feudtner, Children's
Hospital of Philadelphia, and colleagues in a journal news
The researchers noted that information on safety and efficacy in
children is lacking for many drugs given to children in
Funding for the study was provided by a grant from the U.S.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Center for Education and
Research on Therapeutics.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers tips for giving
nonprescription medicines to children.
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