Principles of clinical pharmacology applied to analgesics in children

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Analgesic dosing regimens should take into account the severity and type of pain, the therapeutic window of the drug, and also the age or developmental state of the child. Translation of these concepts to safe and effective pharmacological management of pain in neonates, infants, and children necessitates a thorough understanding of the principles of clinical pharmacology of analgesics in children. Growth, weight or size, and maturation or age evolve in children and profoundly affect the pharmacokinetics (concentration–time profile, absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion) and pharmacodynamics (concentration–effect profile, objective assessment) of drugs, and this is also the case for analgesics. This will result in extensive variability in dosing and effects throughout childhood, and this variability is most prominent in infancy. In addition to maturational changes, there are also nonmaturational aspects (preterm neonates and critical illness, obesity, pharmacogenetics) that should be considered to further improve dosing in every individual child.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford Textbook of Pediatric Pain
EditorsBonnie J. Stevens, Gareth Hathway, William T. Zempsky
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191864667
ISBN (Print)9780198818762
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


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