The medic's guide to prescribing: Prescribing for children
Why do we need to be careful when prescribing in paediatrics? Clare M Morkane and colleagues explain in part five of the series
In this article we look at what students should know about prescribing in paediatrics. Although this subject is usually studied later in the clinical years, medical students often come across young patients in primary care and in other clinical attachments. The opportunity to treat children also arises in the foundation years in the emergency department, in general practice, and in other specialties in the foundation programmes.
If you find the idea of writing your first prescription for an adult with heart failure daunting, imagine how you will feel the first time you prescribe a drug that is unlicensed for use in children to a 2 year old. Many factors we take for granted in adult medicine suddenly become hugely important in a child. As well as calculating the correct dose for that child, and delivering it appropriately, there is the matter of compliance: sometimes no matter how hard you try,