Kids aren't just little adults.
Drugs approved for adults may not fit kids' needs.
Compared to adults, children:
- Absorb and eliminate drugs from
their bodies differently
- Can experience different side effects
- May require different drug formulations
Most drugs used in kids today have been tested only on adults. Researchers are testing these drugs on kids to answer questions about:
Since 1998, research—including NICHD-supported studies—has guided the safe and effective use of more than 400 medications in kids.
Spotlight on NICHD Research
An NICHD-funded study on meropenem—an antibiotic approved to treat infection in adults and older children—tested the drug in infants and found that:
- Infants needed dosing adjustments based on prematurity and time after birth.
- The drug was not associated with increased risk for serious side effects.
Meropenem is now FDA approved to treat abdominal infection in infants younger than 3 months.
New guidelines ensure safe and effective dosing.
Learn more about pediatric drug research at NICHD.
- Christensen ML. Best Pharmaceuticals for Children Act and Pediatric Research Equity Act: Time for Permanent Status. The Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics. (2012). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3470432/
- Czaja AS, Reiter PD, Schultz ML, Valuck RJ. Patterns of Off-Label Prescribing in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and Prioritizing Future Research. The Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics. (2015). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26170770
- Food and Drug Administration. (2013). http://blogs.fda.gov/fdavoice/index.php/tag/best-pharmaceuticals-for-children-act-bpca/
- Food and Drug Administration. (1998). http://www.nap.edu/read/13311/chapter/9.
- Food and Drug Administration. (ND). http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cderworld/index.cfm?action=newdrugs:main&unit=4&lesson=1&topic=5&page=1
- Vernon JA1, Shortenhaus SH, Mayer MH, Allen AJ, Golec JH. Measuring the patient health, societal and economic benefits of US pediatric therapeutics legislation (2012) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22775493