Kids aren’t just little adults.
Drugs approved for adults may not fit kids’ needs.
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Compared to adults, children:
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- Absorb and eliminate drugs from their bodies differently
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- Can experience different side effects
Graphic: Icon with medicine bottles for pills (adult) and liquid (infant).
- 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:
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Since 1998, research—including NICHD-supported studies—has guided the safe and effective use of more than 400 medications in kids.
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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.
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Learn more about pediatric drug research at NICHD.
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Back to Pediatric Drug Research at NICHD infographic.