Background Paediatric drugs are rare and are often presented with prescription limits. This means the paediatrician is responsible for prescribing medication to children which are reserved only for adults. Also, certain dosages, forms and routes of administration of these drugs are usually unsuitable for administration to children, sometimes even contraindicated.
Purpose The aim of this study was to analyse agreement between medicines (all galenic forms included) listed in the therapeutic booklet of our paediatric hospital and their prescription in children.
Material and methods We analysed the medicines listed in the therapeutic booklet of a paediatric hospital. The status of each medicine was searched by referring to the summaries of product characteristics. Five categories were defined: medicines indicated in children regardless of age; those with age limits; those not recommended in children in the absence of data; those reserved for adults; and those contraindicated in children. The share of each category in terms of drug substance and trademarks and their consumption were defined.
Results 165 medicines are listed in the therapeutic booklet of our paediatric hospital, representing 120 active ingredients. Of the 165 medicines, 81.2% are injectable and 6% are oral forms. 7 medicines are solid forms and are not suitable for children <6–7 years old. 20% of trademarks belong to the class specialties ‘N’ of the ATC codification (WHO) and 16.4% medicines to class ‘J’. 51% of medicines were administered to children regardless of age, 31% were indicated with age limits, 3% were contraindicated and 3% were reserved for adults. 12% were not recommended in the absence of data. 113 100 units of antibiotics were consumed in 2015, of which 800 were contraindicated. 334 924 anaesthetic medicines were consumed, of which 2000 were not recommended in children.
Conclusion The percentage of molecules that do not have a paediatric license in our study was 18%. Other studies have shown a higher percentage (Combeau et al, Turner et al and Antier et al—56.3% 25% and 42%, respectively). This inconsistency should alert the prescriber and the pharmacist to limit the inherent risk.
References and/or acknowledgements Acknowledgements to the paediatric hospital team.
No conflict of interest
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.