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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.

 

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.

To Prepare
  • 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.

Assignment:

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.
  • Please use the rubric to formulate your assignment.

Rubric:

Explain the circumstances under which children should be prescribed drugs for off-label use. Be specific and provide examples.

Explain strategies to making off-label use and dosage of drugs safer for children from infancy to adolescence and descriptions and names of off-label drugs that require extra care and attention when used in pediatrics. Be specific. 

Written Expression and Formatting – Paragraph Development and Organization:
Paragraphs make clear points that support well developed ideas, flow logically, and demonstrate continuity of ideas. Sentences are carefully focused–neither long and rambling nor short and lacking substance. 

Written Expression and Formatting – English writing standards:
Correct grammar, mechanics, and proper punctuation 

Written Expression and Formatting – The paper follows correct APA format for title page, headings, font, spacing, margins, indentations, page numbers, running head, parenthetical/in-text citations, and reference list.  All papers submitted include a title page, introduction, summary, and references.  

The School of Nursing requires that all papers submitted include a title page, introduction, summary, and references.

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