Antibiotics Dosage For Children: Are Your Kids Getting the Right Prescription Amount?
Not all bodies are the same; not all bodies respond in the same manner to treatment dosages of medication. When will doctors understand this? There has been a tendency to paint with a broad sweeping brush the amount of medication individuals, in particular, the elderly, receive; this has been a problem because of reports of over medication.
An older individual metabolizes medication more slowly than a younger person. Medication also should vary depending upon size, weight and height. Do doctors take all of this into account? In the past, many did not appear to give it as much consideration as it warranted. And there have been continual reports of problems exacerbated by over medication even to the point where great harm was created when there should have been none.
And that's not all of it. Taken to its logical next step, if over medication can occur in the elderly, under medication can occur in the young, whose vibrant, growing bodies metabolize rapidly and use up dosages more quickly than doctors may have gauged.That is why British scientists appear to have finally "seen the light" regarding the difficulty of assessing effective medication dosages according to body size and type, never easy to figure out and perhaps more of an art than a science.
And so it has gone even with something as seemingly ubiquitous and simple as penicillin. Now, after 60 years of the same recommended dosages for penicillin, British scientists are arguing that there must be reconsideration and review. In a study conducted by researchers from the University of London, King's College London, the University of Athens, the University of Hong Kong and Boots the Chemist, and published in the British Medical Journal, scientists claim that medication guidelines need to be standardized. More specifically, penicillin dosing guidelines for children need to be reworked. Why? It is possible that under medicating may cause serious health issues and antibiotic resistance.
The study entailed a narrative review of children's penicillin dosing guidelines in the UK over the past 60 years. In the past, some charts initially indicated the amount of medication should be based upon a child's weight. However, this changed around 1963. Then, other charts suggested a child’s age be used to dose. According to article authors this can confuse physicians who may under medicate the child. If an effective dose to kill the bacteria is not given, the likelihood increases that the child will suffer a relapse and strengthening of the bacterial strain which becomes accustomed to the weaker dosages and finds them easy to resist. When can a child be under dosed? When a child's weight is higher, they are obese, or their size (including height) is larger than the average for their age group.Continued on the next page