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NURS 6521 Week 11: Pediatrics

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NURS 6521 Week 11: Pediatrics essay assignment

NURS 6521: Advanced Pharmacology | Week 11 essay assignment

Children deal with variety of health issues similar to adults, but they also have issues that are more prevalent within their population. One issue that significantly impacts children is the prescription of drugs for off-label use. Consider the case of Rebecca Riley. When she was two years old, Riley was diagnosed with ADHD, and by age three, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. In the span of two years, Riley’s doctor prescribed four drugs off-label: Clonidine, Depakote, Zyprexa, and Seroquel. Riley’s doctor also approved 13 increases in drug dosages. Then, at age four, Riley died from pneumonia combined with a toxic level of prescription drugs (Lambert, 2010). Cases such as this have brought attention to the off-label use of drugs in pediatric patients, as well as the importance of monitoring patient reactions to prescribed drugs and evaluating the effects of drug-drug interactions. As an advanced practice nurse, how do you determine the appropriate use of off-label drugs in pediatrics? Are there certain drugs that should be avoided with pediatric patients?

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This week you examine the practice of prescribing off-label drugs to children. You also explore strategies for making off-label drug use safer for children from infancy to adolescence as it is essential that you are prepared to make drug–related decisions for pediatric patients in clinical settings.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this week, students will:
  • Evaluate the practice of prescribing off-label drugs to children
  • Analyze strategies to make the off-label use of drugs safer for children
  • Understand and apply key terms, concepts, and principles related to prescribing drugs to treat pediatric patients

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 Panther et al (2017) and Corney, Lebel, Bailey, and Bussieres (2015) articles in the Learning Resources. 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.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 3

Post an explanation of circumstances under which children should be prescribed drugs for off-label use. Then, 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.

By Day 6

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses and respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days who provided a different rationale than you did, in one or more of the following ways:

  • Offer and support an alternative perspective using readings from the classroom or from your own research in the Walden Library.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience and additional research.

 

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