Adverse Effects of Common Drugs: Children and Adolescents

Kelly D owhower Karpa, Todd M atthew Felix, Peter R. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Drug use and harms are increasingly common among newborns, infants, children, and adolescents during ambulatory practice, emergency department, and in-hospital treatment, including treatment in pediatric intensive care units. The pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic parameters of drugs often are different for children compared with adults and must be considered before prescribing. Drug exposure and the potential for harms also should be considered for fetuses and breastfeeding infants. As with adult patients, a thorough drug and allergy history (including nonprescription drugs and herbal and dietary supplements) should be obtained and reviewed at each medical visit. Children and adolescents are increasingly at risk of drug harm/overdose through accidental or intentional ingestion of nonprescription and prescription drugs (eg, cough and cold preparations, candy-appearing vitamins, stimulants, narcotics). Parents and caregivers should receive training in the proper use, storage, and administration of all drugs. Prescribing clinicians should be vigilant in withholding unnecessary drugs, such as antibiotics for viral infections. When prescribing, clinicians should be aware of common drugs frequently associated with adverse reactions, including stimulants, antipsychotics, analgesics, asthma therapies, acne therapies, and tumor necrosis factor inhibitors. Scientifically based prescribing practices should be used and consultation with evidence-based resources and pharmacists sought as needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-22
Number of pages6
JournalFP essentials
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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