Children, like adults, deal with variety of health issues, but they also have issues that are more prevalent within their population. One issue that significantly impacts children is the prescription of drugs for off-label use. As an advanced practice nurse, how do you determine the appropriate use of off-label drugs in pediatrics? Are there certain drugs that should be avoided with pediatric patients?
This week, you examine the practice of prescribing off-label drugs to children. You also explore strategies for making off-label drug use safer for children from infancy to adolescence, as it is essential that you are prepared to make drug-related decisions for pediatric patients in clinical settings.
Rosenthal, L. D., & Burchum, J. R. (2021). Lehne’s pharmacotherapeutics for advanced practice nurses and physician assistants (2nd ed.) St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
Chapter 9, “Drug Therapy in Pediatric Patients” (pp. 58—60)
Corny, J., Lebel, D., Bailey, B., & Bussieres, J. (2015). Unlicensed and off-label drug use in children before and after pediatric governmental initiatives. The Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 20(4), 316–328. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4557722/
This article highlights pediatric governmental initiatives to prevent unlicensed and off-label drug use in children. Review these initiatives and guidelines and how they might impact your practice as an advanced practice nurse.
Panther, S. G., Knotts, A. M., Odom-Maryon, T., Daratha, K., Woo, T., & Klein, T. A. (2017). Off-label prescribing trends for ADHD medications in very young children. The Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 22(6), 423–429. doi:10.5863/1551-6776-22.6.423
This study examines the frequency of off-label prescribing to children and explores factors that impact off-label prescribing. This study also examines off-label prescribing to children with ADHD.
Document: Final Exam Study Guide (PDF)
Required Media (click to expand/reduce)
Assignment: Off-Label Drug Use in Pediatrics
The unapproved use of approved drugs, also called off-label use, with children is quite common. This is because pediatric dosage guidelines are typically unavailable, since very few drugs have been specifically researched and tested with children.
When treating children, prescribers often adjust dosages approved for adults to accommodate a child’s weight. However, children are not just “smaller” adults. Adults and children process and respond to drugs differently in their absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Children even respond differently during stages from infancy to adolescence. This poses potential safety concerns when prescribing drugs to pediatric patients. As an advanced practice nurse, you have to be aware of safety implications of the off-label use of drugs with this patient group.
· Review the interactive media piece in this week’s Resources and reflect on the types of drugs used to treat pediatric patients with mood disorders.
· Reflect on situations in which children should be prescribed drugs for off-label use.
· Think about strategies to make the off-label use and dosage of drugs safer for children from infancy to adolescence. Consider specific off-label drugs that you think require extra care and attention when used in pediatrics.
Write a 1-page narrative in APA format that addresses the following:
· Explain the circumstances under which children should be prescribed drugs for off-label use. Be specific and provide examples.
· Describe strategies to make the off-label use and dosage of drugs safer for children from infancy to adolescence. Include descriptions and names of off-label drugs that require extra care and attention when used in pediatrics.
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