Could 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).
Other children’s health stories we’ve been reading:
- The FDA recently approved the first drug designed to treat infantile spasms. Infants suffering from the disorder can have as many as 100 seizures per episode and multiple episodes a day.
- Mom Daily talks about a new study, which reveals that there’s no difference between children of same-sex couples and children of heterosexual parents. Do you think this will help same-sex parents adopt?
- At ParentDish, Julia Halewicz discusses the debate between parents and school administrators about autistic children bringing service dogs to school. Parents claim the dogs help keep their children calm and safe, while school officials challenge the medical necessity of these dogs.
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. …
Alternative 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.