Stories about: medicine

Adverse drug events more common in kids than thought

Smelly medicineCould your children be getting sick from the medications doctors are prescribing them? An 11-year national study conducted by Children’s Hospital Boston, published this month in Pediatrics, shows that side effects or accidental overdoses of medications are more common than you might think. These adverse drug reactions are causing more than half a million doctor’s visits per year, especially in children age 4 and younger.

The study suggests that health care workers need to be aware of the potential adverse effects and be able to provide parents with the proper guidance in case their child has a negative side effect or an accidental overdose, especially if a child is taking a medication for the first time.

“We found that there are as many as 13 outpatient visits for adverse drug events per 1,000 children, indicating that they are a common complication of pediatric care,” says Florence Bourgeois, MD, MPH, of Children’s Division of Emergency Medicine.

Antimicrobials (such as penicillin) were the most frequently implicated drugs, accounting for 27.5 percent of visits overall, and as many as 40 percent of visits among children 0 to 4 years old. They were followed by neurologic/psychotropic medications (6.5 percent) and hormones (6 percent).

Read Full Story

Health headlines: Seizures, service dogs and autism

Other children’s health stories we’ve been reading:

Read Full Story

Health headlines: August 8

Other articles on kids’ health we’ve been reading this week:

  • The FDA is requiring stronger warning labels for medicines with tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF) blockers, which are used to treat inflammatory diseases such as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease. Warnings will highlight the increased risk of childhood cancer.
Read Full Story

Insurance coverage for alternative therapies

24710045.thbAlternative medical practices, such as acupuncture and dietary supplements, have often been relegated to the fringe of established medicine. But some senators are pushing forward an amendment that could get alternative therapies covered by insurance.

Read Full Story